The 2023 Major League Soccer season is reaching its conclusion, as Columbus Crew and LAFC clash in the MLS Cup final on December 9 at Lower.com Field.
The Crew’s path to the final was a bit all over the place, but their perseverance and resilience is what has carried them this far. They took down Atlanta United in three games in the first round before toppling Orlando City in extra time 2-0.
It seemed like all hope was lost for Columbus in the Eastern Conference final as they were down 2-0 at halftime to FC Cincinnati. But the Crew scored twice in the last 15 minutes of regulation to force extra time, where Christian Ramirez was a super-sub yet again and scored the winning goal in the 115th minute.
The Black and Gold took care of business in their path to the final in the Western Conference, starting off by sweeping Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round. LAFC then narrowly defeated Seattle Sounders on the road, 1-0, before clinching a spot in their second-straight MLS Cup final after defeating Houston Dynamo 2-0.
Will the Crew claim their third MLS Cup, or will LAFC go back-to-back as champions to add to their silverware cabinet?
Columbus Crew vs LAFC H2H record
TV Channel / Live Stream
Apple TV – MLS Season Pass, FOX
Apple TV – MLS Season Pass
Apple TV +
The Crew have no new injury concerns after their dramatic 3-2 triumph over the Orange and Blue to reach the final. With Ramirez’s second straight game coming off the bench to score the winning goal, head coach Wilfried Nancy might be tempted to throw him into the starting lineup alongside Cucho Hernandez up front.
Columbus Crew predicted lineup vs LAFC (3-4-3): Schulte; Moreira, Camacho, Amundsen; Gressel, Nagbe, Morris, Yeboah; Matan, Hernandez, Rossi.
Like the Crew, the Black and Gold also came away from their conference final victory over Houston unscathed, allowing Steve Cherundolo to pick his full-strength starting lineup.
LAFC predicted lineup vs Columbus Crew (4-3-3): Crepeau; Hollingshead, Murillo, Chiellini, Palacios; Tillman, Sanchez, Acosta; Olivera, Vela, Bouanga.
This MLS Cup final matchup is bound to be one for the history books. Both teams have a plethora of attacking talent in their ranks, but they also both posses strong defenses – hence why they are in the final.
The home team typically wins more often than not in the regular season, and that doesn’t really change in the final. Only one away side has ever won MLS Cup – New York City FC in 2021 over Portland Timbers in penalty kicks – meaning the odds are with the Crew.
It will be all over the place and dramatic just like it’s been for most of the playoffs for Columbus, but they’ll just get it over the line in extra time to win their third MLS Cup.
Prediction: Columbus Crew 3-2 LAFC
Sign up now for MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch all the action from the 2023 Major League Soccer season. Click here to subscribe!