In 2015, which was Columbus Crew's last appearance in the MLS Cup final, they lost to Portland Timbers, who were coached by Caleb Porter. Porter is now in charge of the Crew.
This is also a significant occasion for the Columbus Crew, because it could be the last game they play at the MAPFRE Stadium. From next season onwards, they are scheduled to move to the New Columbus Crew Stadium.
Crew reached the MLS Cup final this season with hard-fought wins in the Conference semi-final and final. They beat Nashville SC 2-0 in the semifinal, but needed extra-time to score those two goals. In the Conference final against New England Revolution, they won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Artur.
Seattle Sounders are a juggernaut, who have made the playoffs in every season of their existence, and have entered their fourth MLS Cup final in the last five years. Sounders are looking to win their third title in that time.
They came through a dramatic Western Conference playoff final against Minnesota United, in which they were 2-1 down until the 89th minute, when Raul Ruidiaz equalised.
Then, three minutes into second-half stoppage time, Gustav Svensson scored the goal that booked Sounders' date in Columbus.
Columbus Crew vs Seattle Sounders Head-to-Head
Columbus Crew and New England Revolution have faced each other 16 times before this, with the Sounders winning seven of those games, while losing only four. Five matches between these two teams have ended in draws.
Columbus Crew form guide: W-W-W-W-L
Seattle Sounders form guide: W-W-W-W-D
Columbus Crew vs Seattle Sounders Team News
Vito Wormgoor is a long-term absentee and continues to be ruled out. But the big blows for Columbus Crew have come in the form of injuries to Pedro Santos and Darlington Nagbe, both of whom are set to miss this game.
Injuries: Vito Wormgoor, Pedro Santos, Darlington Nagbe
Seattle Sounders have no known injury concerns in their squad ahead of the final.
Columbus Crew vs Seattle Sounders Predicted Lineups
Columbus Crew Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Eloy Room; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Milton Valenzuela; Sebastian Berhalter, Artur; Luis Diaz, Lucas Zelarayan, Youness Mokhtar; Gyasi Zardes
Seattle Sounders Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Yeimar Gomez, Shane O'Neill, Nouhou Tolo; Joao Paulo, Cristian Roldan; Joevin Jones, Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris; Raul Ruidiaz
Columbus Crew vs Seattle Sounders Prediction
We are predicting that Seattle Sounders will lift the MLS Cup due to their experience of such big occasions in recent seasons. That, coupled with the injuries to Santos and Nagbe have firmly tilted the scales in the Sounders' favor.
Prediction: Columbus Crew 1-2 Seattle SoundersPublished 12 Dec 2020, 00:31 IST