The Columbus Crew are the 2020 Major League Soccer champions. On Saturday, the Crew defeated the Seattle Sounders 3-0 from Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH.
The star for the Crew was Lucas Zealarayan of Cordoba, Argentina. The attacking midfielder scored twice in the 25th and 82nd minutes. Derrick Etienne of Richmond, VI, who plays internationally for Haiti, also scored for the Crew in the 31st minute. Derrick Etienne is the son of former Haitian international Derrick Etienne, who played for the Richmond Kickers of the A-League from 19998 to 2000, and the Long Island Rough Riders of the United Soccer League from 2001 to 2006.
A midfielder, Zelarayan becomes the third Argentinian to win the Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player Award. He follows midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto of La Plata, Argentina, who won the award with the Crew in 2008, and attacking midfielder Diego Valeri of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who won the award with the Portland Timbers in 2015.
Interestingly, the 2008 MLS Cup was the only other time the Crew won the MLS Cup as Columbus beat the New York Red Bulls 3-1. Unlike Zelarayan, Schelotto was unable to score in the contest, but did have three assists and a shot that hit the crossbar in the 77th minute 12 years ago. In the 2015 MLS Cup, the Crew were also involved, but lost 2-1 to the Timbers. Valeri opened the scoring in that contest with a goal in the first minute. The 2015 MLS Cup, was played in Columbus, like the 2020 MLS Cup.
The Crew entered the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs with a record of 12 wins, five ties, and six losses for 41 points in the regular season. Columbus finished third in the Eastern Conference, behind the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union (47 points) and Toronto FC (44 points). In the playoffs, the Crew defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-2 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal, Nashville SC 2-0 in the Eastern Conference semi-final, and the New England Revolution 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Final.