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MLS Cup Showdown: Columbus Crew vs. LAFC on Dec.9

 MLS Cup Showdown: Columbus Crew vs. LAFC on Dec.9

Columbus Crew vs. LAFC
Columbus Crew vs. LAFC

The stage is set for an exciting showdown as Eastern Conference champions Columbus Crew (No. 3) prepare to host Western Conference champions LAFC (No. 3) at Field on December 9 for the highly anticipated MLS Cup presented by Audi.

  • Date: Saturday, December 9
  • Time: 4 pm ET/1 pm PT
  • Venue: Field | Columbus, Ohio
  • Watch: Apple TV (Free); FOX, FOX Deportes; TSN/RDS

Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs Bracket:

Columbus Crew's Journey:

  •  Round One: 2-1 series win vs. Atlanta United
  •  Conference Semifinal: 2-0 win (extra time) at Orlando City SC
  •  Conference Final: 3-2 win (extra time) at FC Cincinnati

Columbus advanced in a thrilling Hell is Real matchup, securing a dramatic 3-2 victory in extra time at TQL Stadium against arch-rival Cincinnati. Second-half substitutes Julian Gressel and Christian Ramirez played pivotal roles in the comeback, erasing a 2-0 deficit, with Ramirez scoring a game-winning goal in the 115th minute.

Under the leadership of head coach Wilfried Nancy, who joined nearly a year ago from CF Montréal, striker Cucho Hernández has been a standout performer for the Crew. The Colombian international boasts 4 goals and 2 assists in the playoffs, propelling Columbus to the brink of their third-ever MLS Cup title, having previously clinched victory in 2008 and 2020.

LAFC's Path to the Finals:

  • - Round One: 2-0 series win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • - Conference Semifinal: 1-0 win at Seattle Sounders FC
  • - Conference Final: 2-0 win vs. Houston Dynamo FC

LAFC secured back-to-back West championships with a commanding 2-0 win over Houston, earning them the coveted MLS Cup ticket. Despite forward Dénis Bouanga being held scoreless for the first time in seven games, both he and fellow Designated Player (DP) Carlos Vela consistently threatened the Dynamo's backline.

The Black & Gold, gearing up for their 53rd game across all competitions next weekend, are on the verge of making history as the first repeat winners since the 2011-12 LA Galaxy. Achieving this feat would also secure a spot in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup for LAFC. The stakes are high as both teams aim to etch their names in MLS history with a memorable championship victory.

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