The Columbus Crew was established in 1994 and was one of the original ten teams who competed in Major League Soccer's inaugural season. The team's name, 'The Crew', derived from a fan competition and domestically, the Columbus Crew have been one of MLS' most successful teams.
The Crew's main rivalry is with Toronto FC and the two sides compete for the annual Trillium Cup, which is awarded to the team which gains the most points from their head-to-head matches at the end of the season. Columbus also maintain a rivalry with the Chicago Fire. Although the sides are around six hours apart via road travel, this is relatively close in comparison to other MLS sides, so the rivalry is born out of their closeness. Columbus also contest the Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup with FC Dallas annually, although it is less a rivalry and more due to the fact that both teams were previously owned by Lamar Hunt.
Domestically, Columbus Crew have enjoyed significant success, most notably winning the MLS Cup in 2008, defeating the New York Red Bulls in the final. In addition, the team won the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2004, 2008 and 2009 and the U.S. Open Cup in 2002. Columbus have finished top of the Eastern Conference on three occasions and have twice reached the quarter final stage of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Former USA international Jeff Cunningham is the team's record goal scorer. Other influential footballers to play for Columbus throughout its history include Robert Warzycha, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Chad Marshall and Brian McBride.
The Crew's home matches are played at the Columbus Crew Stadium. Built in 1999, the ground was the first stadium built specifically for a soccer team in the MLS era. The stadium currently has a capacity of 20,145 for league matches.