The impossible dream made possible. Columbus Crew SC is playing in their second MLS Cup final. But this just isn't any MLS Cup; it’s the MLS Cup Final at home, in front of their fans. This game is their 'One Game To Glory.'
Coming into this match, the Crew just snuck past the Eastern Conference Semifinals, defeating the Montreal Impact by an aggregate score of 4-3. They then advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship, against the New York Red Bulls. They made it out, but just by an inch, and a goalpost, defeating the Red Bulls 2-1 on aggregate. This time, it's the real deal.
The last time these two teams met, they met at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, where the Portland Timbers defeated the Crew by a score of 2-1. This is something that Columbus will have to take into consideration and use that as momentum heading into the MLS Cup Final on Sunday.
There are multiple keys to victory for Crew SC to follow, if they want to win their second MLS Cup.
Indeed, it is a very important game, but the team cannot lose their focus, or momentum that they have carried all playoffs. It's a vital key to remain focus, and not to lose their heads. Everyone has their own game, and they need to play it in order to win.
The team has its identity that no other team has. Yes, they may have lost some of it when midfielder Tony Tchani was involved in a small scrum in the last match, but he has to keep it and so does the team. The character of this team is the true definition of how each teammate can prove how dominant and good this team can be.
In the past three matches, the team has showed that they can attack really well. Whether it is from scoring four minutes into a match, to scoring a MLS Cup Playoff record of nine seconds, Columbus can really put the pedal to the medal to the Timbers defense, and strive for the early goal that they so desperately need.
But it's not only what the team needs to do, it's what players can do also. Which is why three key players will make an impact on the game.
Goalkeeper Steve Clark
Although a costly mistake resulted in a goal in the last match, Clark is a fantastic keeper, and makes great saves to keep his team in the game. If he can come up big, he's a winner.
Winger Cedrick Mabwati
Although Mabwati isn't a starter, he is a threat off of the bench. Fast, and sneaky, the Congo Republic midfielder is an eye to watch late in the second half. Creating chances and attacking the goal is his style.
MVP of the team, Kei Kamara
The aerial, Sierra Leone striker is very lethal when given the right opportunity. Notching 22 goals in the season, he is, without a question, the go-to guy for goals.
Put all of this into a formation of 11 guys, ten field players, and one goalkeeper, you have yourself 2015 MLS Cup Champions.