Lucas Zelarayan, Crew Beat Sounders 3-0 to Win 2020 MLS Cup Final

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 13, 2020

Columbus Crew players celebrate a goal against the Seattle Sounders during the first half of the MLS Championship soccer match Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

Lucas Zelarayan scored two goals and assisted on another as Columbus Crew SC defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3-0 in the 2020 MLS Cup on Saturday at Mapfre Stadium.

Zelarayan's 25th-minute goal gave the home side a 1-0 advantage, and he assisted on Derrick Etienne's effort six minutes later. He added an 82nd-minute tally to cap the 3-0 victory.

The 28-year-old Argentinian midfielder fired Harrison Afful's cross past Seattle goalie Stefan Frei and into the back of the net for the first goal:

Major League Soccer @MLS

ZELARAYAN OPENS THE SCORING @ColumbusCrewSC // #MLSCup https://t.co/r1VEDE48D3

Shortly thereafter, Zelarayan found Etienne, who curled a shot past Frei for Columbus' second:

Major League Soccer @MLS

WOW IT'S 2-0! @detienne_10 👏 @ColumbusCrewSC // #MLSCup https://t.co/N7To7bnMT2

Columbus entered halftime with a 8-2 shot advantage (3-0 shots on goal) despite Seattle holding possession for 65 percent of the first half. They couldn't have played much better, and ESPN's Taylor Twellman gave a shoutout:

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

An absolute clinic from @ColumbusCrewSC.....the @SoundersFC being played off the field and it’s not even 45’ in. #MLSCup

Seattle ramped up the pressure in the second half, outshooting Columbus 11-7 and putting a pair of shots on goal. However, Sounders FC couldn't find the back of the net, and Zelarayan earned the brace off a laser into the upper-left hand corner of the net:

Major League Soccer @MLS

ZELARAYAN SMASHES IT 🚀 @ColumbusCrewSC // #MLSCup https://t.co/fcUjbpD22A

Zelarayan won the MLS Cup MVP for his efforts.

The win marks Columbus' second-ever MLS Cup victory and a particularly sweet one for their fans, who fought to keep the team from moving to Austin, Texas, as former Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl noted:

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

3 years later, after Columbus fans saved their team, the Crew wins MLS Cup XXV in front of the people who fought so hard to keep them in Ohio. ⭐️⭐️ https://t.co/a1pxWknAdV https://t.co/3xWlc9pjl7

Columbus Crew SC's first MLS Cup occurred in 2008 after defeating the New York Red Bulls.

Seattle's season ended in disappointment, but the Sounders still has four MLS Cup appearances in five years, including two wins.

They'll also always have their epic Western Conference Final comeback when they overcame a 2-0 deficit in the 75th minute to defeat Minnesota United FC 3-2.

As for next year, MLS plans to return in March and play a full schedule, per MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott.