| The Columbus Dispatch
To be the champs, they will have to beat the champs.
The Columbus Crew will play the Seattle Sounders in the 2020 MLS Cup on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Mapfre Stadium after the Sounders pulled a dramatic 3-2 comeback win over Minnesota United in the Western Conference final on Monday night in Seattle.
Down 2-1 in the waning minutes, forward Raul Ruidiaz scored in the 89th minute to tie the game and midfielder Gustav Svensson scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to stun the Loons in an instant classic.
Last November, the Sounders won MLS Cup at home against Toronto FC, their second in franchise history. Led by attacking players Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris and Nico Lodeiro, the Sounders have been one of the favorites all season to win MLS Cup.
They would become the first team since the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2010-11 to win back-to-back titles.
The Crew and the Sounders haven’t played since the final game before MLS shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, way back on March 7. Gyasi Zardes scored a first-half goal and Ruidiaz scored a penalty kick in the second half of a thrilling 1-1 draw that felt like a potential preview of a league final.
Though the Sounders are the No. 2 seed in the West and the Crew is the No. 3 seed in the East, the Crew (1.78) finished with a higher points per game than the Sounders (1.77) during the regular season, giving the Crew home-field advantage for the final.
The Sounders went down 2-0 in the 67th minute, but a team with playoff experience to spare found a way to advance to the club’s fourth MLS Cup in five seasons.
To advance to MLS Cup, the Sounders beat No. 7 seed Los Angeles FC and No. 6 seed FC Dallas before knocking out Minnesota.
The Crew advanced to its third-ever MLS Cup with a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on Sunday at Mapfre Stadium. The Crew has not had to play a road game during the postseason, after failing to win a road game during the regular season.
While the front three for the Sounders might be regarded as the best in the league, the Crew believes it has plenty of firepower itself in Zardes, Lucas Zelarayan and Pedro Santos.
MLS Cup will be broadcasted on FOX.