(East Los Angeles, CA) December 14, 2020 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Columbus Crew SC proved to the MLS Soccer/Fútbol World and Beyond, that this was nearly a “Textbook” victory over the Seattle Sounders FC in the 2020 MLS Cup match that took place on the “home-pitch” of the victors. Adding to the overall “Final Cup” environment, the match had a “real-time” fan presence which more than likely gave the Crew an actual slight edge over their opponent. A total of 1,500 amped-up Crew fans were in the stands for this MLS season-ending title match.
To see highlights of the match, click here.
(Match Recap): The Crew were well-prepared from the opening kick and immediately put on their game face and as equally confident, were set to carry out their game plan as drawn up by Head Coach, Caleb Foster. At the 25′ mark, mid-fielder, Lucas Zelarayán, took a crosser to his left side of the attack, and then on the fly as the ball descended downwards to the pitch, he sent forward a left-footed 10′ blast at goalie, Stefan Frei, who managed to partially block the attempt, but the “English” on the leather sphere, caused it to pass Frei and roll softly across the goal line for the Crew’s first score. Then, just 6 minutes later, at the 32′ mark, his teammate, Derrick Etienne, Jr., after tracking down a Zelarayán assist to the left forward flank of the attack, pushed through a right-curved speed ball for another goal, just to the left of a stretched-out Frei, giving the Crew a commanding, (2-0) first half lead.
The second half was also dominated by the Crew as the Sounders could never mount an offensive as they had done in previous critical games. Prior to today’s match, whenever they were lagging and needed a timely goal, they were able to produce one, with the talents of Nico Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz, but they did not succeed on this MLS Cup Final day. The Crew’s final goal came at the 82nd minute when Zelarayán scored on a perfectly targeted, left-footed “riser” into the back corner of the net, his second goal of the day. This basically ended the match for a final score of (3-0) in favor of the Crew, the new, and now reigning MLS Cup Champions. For his outstanding 2 goal performance in the Title Match, Zelarayán, 28, Midfielder, from Cordoba, Argentina, was rewarded as the MLS Cup MVP. He also picked up the MLS’ Newcomer of the Year Award on November 13th.
The Crew finished the season with 23 Matches Played/12 Wins/6 Losses/5 Draws, while the Sounders completed their season with 22 Matches Played/11 Wins/5 Losses/6 Draws. The MLS Championship also gives the Crew a slot in the 2021 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Tournament.
Our final thoughts to close out the historic COVID-19 plagued 2020 season. A huge congrats goes out to the MLS for its remarkable administration of the MLS Is Back Tournament, the ongoing commitment to the Black Lives Matter and Social Justice Movement, and to the daily public health-driven COVID tests and examinations of all Coaches, Players and their staffs.
Last, but certainly not least on our list is a tremendous “Muchas Gracias” to the MLS Communications Department, New York, who provided those invited media outlets like ourselves, outstanding access to its vast coverage during the 2020 season. We’d also like to thank the L.A. Galaxy and the LAFC Media Departments for adding us onto their list of locally credentialed media outlets. We’ll be looking forward to covering more exciting matches in 2021 for the Best Soccer/Fútbol fans in America, right here in our City of the Angels.
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