A determined Columbus Crew team outplayed a Seattle Sounder squad to earn a 3-0 MLS Cup victory over the defending Champions. Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan led the Crew to their second MLS Cup Trophy with two goals and an assist and was named MLS Cup MVP for his effort.
CATASTROPHIC SLOW START
The Sounders started out lethargic, timid and downright indifference to the task at hand. The Crew came out on the front foot and attacked the Sounders defense with vigor and determination. The Crew’s strategy of moving the Seattle defense by switching the ball from side to side then attack the belly of the Sounders defense worked to perfection. The Crew had two corner kicks in in the first four minutes and their relentless pressure paid dividends in the 17th minute. Midfielder Harrison Afful’s cross from the right side of the field to the left side found a wide open Lucas Zelarayan who rifled the ball into the back of the Sounders net for the 1-0 lead.
DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR SOUNDERS
The Crew continued to attack the Sounders right flank with long runs from fullback Milton Valenzuela and forward Derrick Etienne who were causing match up problems for Sounder fullback Alex Roldan. Centerback Yeimar Gomez and Midfielder Joao Paulo were slow to aide Roldan in defending the overlap runs. The Crew doubled their lead in the 31st minute when Zelarayan spotted an open Etienne on the right side of the Sounders goal box. Etienne’s right footed blast double the home sides lead.
SECOND HALF ATTEMPT FALLS SHORT
The Sounders came out of the halftime with determined to make a game of it. Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer inserted Gustav Svensson and Brad Smith for Joevin Jones and Nouhou to start the second. The moves brought more possession to the Sounders play. With more possession Schmetzer brought in forward Will Bruin and fullback Kelvin Leerdam in the 60th minute for Joao Paulo and Alex Roldan . The Sounders had several good looks at the goal but the chances went begging. The Sounders best chance came in the 80th minute when Jordan Morris header hit the post after a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick. The game was done and dusted two minutes later when Zelarayan completed his brace with a left footed shot that found the left top corner to give the Crew the 3-0 lead.