Columbus Crew SC entered the team’s first postseason game of the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs as underdogs.
Major League Soccer’s first team began the playoff the home of the league’s newest club, Atlanta United, with all the glitz and glamour that has come to exemplify this era of MLS expansion.
Before the match, Columbus captain Wil Trapp told everyone how he felt about playing as the underdog in Atlanta.
“The League doesn’t want us there,” he told the Columbus Dispatch. “They don’t want us to beat Atlanta in Atlanta.”
Columbus entered Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday evening and played like a team motivated to silence the more than 70,000 Atlanta fans experiencing their first home playoff game.
“You know what to expect, it’s going to be raucous and crazy in there,” Trapp said after the extra-time victory.
Trapp, along with his Black & Gold teammates, entered this “raucous” environment motivated to quiet the boisterous supporters.
“We relish the idea of knocking people off,” Trapp said after the match, “If you want to not believe that we can come in and make some noise, then we’ll see what happens.”
Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter recognized his team’s motivation after the game saying, “the best part for me was the determination by the guys, the will to win, the will to keep going.”
Trapp also recognized this will to win in himself and his teammates.
“It’s guts, man, it’s all about guts,” he said. “Every huddle we had, we just kept preaching the fact of continuing to dig, continuing to rally with each other.”
It was an exhausting extra-time match for Columbus, but Trapp was impressed with his team’s ability to fight through any obstacles that the Five Stripes could throw at the Black & Gold.
“You always say weather the storm, and I thought we did a great job of weathering every storm that came through,” he said.
Now, Crew SC get to return home and play at least one more match at MAPFRE Stadium in front of the team’s hometown fans.
“We’re just excited to play in front of our home crowd,” Trapp said. “They deserve this and we’re happy to give it to them.”