Columbus Crew tops latest Concacaf club rankings

Previous victories against Tigres UANL and CF Monterrey were enough to see the Columbus Crew leapfrog numerous Liga MX adversaries, including their final opponent, Pachuca.
Apr 24, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy reacts to a play by forward
Apr 24, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy reacts to a play by forward / Adam Cairns / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Crew's ascent of four places in the latest rankings came after defeating Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions Cup semi-finals, following their victory over Tigres in the previous round. Both Liga MX clubs could have contended for the top spot had they advanced further in the competition. Club América's elimination in the semifinals was crucial for Wilfried Nancy’s Crew to claim the top position; otherwise, they would have narrowly missed it. This also marks the first time an MLS club has ever taken the top spot of the Concacaf club rankings, ever. Talk about being massive.

Columbus Crew’s triumph over former number one Monterrey marks the latest upset in a direct clash between ranked clubs. The MLS champions secured a 2-1 victory over the five-time CCC winners in the first leg in Columbus. In the second leg, the Crew maintained their momentum with a 3-1 win at Rayados.

On the other side of the semifinal bracket, another top-five matchup occurred between former second-place Club América and third-place CF Pachuca. Pachuca (1,248) clinched the series 3-2 on aggregate, defeating its Liga MX counterpart and securing the second overall spot in the rankings.

Club America (1,239) and Monterrey (1,235) had dominated the top two spots this year, but both have slipped to third and fourth place, respectively, following the latest results.

Columbus Crew made their first appearance in the top 10 of the CONCACAF Club Ranking in December 2023, shortly after winning last year’s MLS Cup by defeating LAFC. Over the span of five months, the Ohio team progressively climbed the ranks, initially reaching eighth place and then sixth after defeating Houston Dynamo in the round of 16. Their victory against Tigres in the quarter-finals pushed them up to fifth place, and their continued success propelled them to the top, surpassing seven Mexican clubs.

The 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup final between Pachuca and Columbus Crew is scheduled to be held at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca on June 1st, although there are speculations that it may be subject to change. The Mexican side will host the game due to their superior overall performance in this year’s competition.

Up next for the Black & Gold is the Hell is Real derby, as they take on arch-rivals FC Cincinnati this Saturday at Field.