On Tuesday, the Columbus Crew celebrated their 2023 MLS Cup victory with a parade and rally, a well-deserved celebration after not being able to commemorate their 2020 title due to the pandemic. Fans gathered in the Arena District to honor the team’s achievement, which marked their third MLS Cup win.
The parade started at noon along Nationwide Boulevard from Third Street to Lower.com Field— celebrating the Crew’s 2-1 triumph over Los Angeles FC on Saturday—their second title in four years and the first at Lower.com Field.
Crew co-owner, Dee Haslam, expressed joy at seeing players, fans, and supporters together, emphasizing the collective spirit. A ceremony, led by Crew announcer Josh Poland, featured speeches from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.
Tim Bezbatchenko, the team’s president and general manager, reflected on hiring coach Wilfried Nancy a year ago, praising Nancy’s impact. Wilfried Nancy is the first Black coach to win an MLS cup. Nancy’s motto “impossible is an opinion” has served as a rally cry for Crew fans this season. Vet players Darlington Nagbe and Josh Williams shared sentiments, with Williams delivering an emotional speech, describing the camaraderie in the locker room as “extraordinary” and that 2023 “has been one of my favorite years in my career.”
In a closing “open mic” session, players such as Cucho Hernandez, Aidan Morris, and Steven Moreira expressed gratitude to the fans. Moreira, celebrating his contract extension, enthusiastically declared, “I’m staying! 2025!”
Scroll to see photos from the Columbus Crew’s victory rally!