For the first time since 2008 and the last time ever, the MLS Eastern Conference champion will be crowned at MAPFRE Stadium. The Columbus Crew and New England Revolution will play on Sunday ast the first of two conference finals in the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs. The Black & Gold have a chance to make their third MLS Cup Final and earn the right to host the final for the second time. On the other end, the No. 8 seed Revs could make the team’s fifth MLS Cup Final and first since 2014.
The Columbus Crew has dealt with many challenges in 2020 but have reached the second-to-last step in their ultimate goal. Head coach Caleb Porter and his squad came away with a 2-0 victory against Nashville SC in the East semifinals last Sunday after 120 grueling minutes in the cold. With Sporting Kansas City’s loss on Thursday to Minnesota United, the Crew no longer has to worry about playing on the road. The team has played 12 games at MAPFRE Stadium and won 11. The 12th win would mean Columbus, Ohio hosts the MLS Cup Final.
New England has also dealt with injury challenges in this 2020 season and have hit the team’s stride at the exact right moment. The Revs are red hot in these MLS Cup playoffs with three wins against the Montreal Impact, the Philadelphia Union and Orlando City. Veteran manager Bruce Arena has his men playing with poise and an attacking core that has been on fire in these postseason games. New England is one of the few original MLS teams never to win an MLS Cup and a third road win in a row leaves the team one victory away from the first in franchise history.
Your #Crew96 Starting XI for the Eastern Conference Final:#To96ther | @MAPFREIns— x - Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) December 6, 2020
Empty the tank.#NERevs | #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/zqFoHE75yp— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) December 6, 2020
Injuries and suspensions:
Crew: Goalkeepers Eloy Room and Jon Kempin, Defenders Waylon Francis and Vito Wormgoor, Midfielder Sebastian Berhalter, and Attackers Derrick Etienne Jr. and Miguel Berry are OUT.
Revolution: Midfielder Luis Caicedo and Forward Cristian Penilla are OUT.
How to watch:
Date: Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium - Columbus, Ohio
TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes, TSN4, TVA Sports
Radio: English: 97.1 The Fan - Spanish: Columbus Crew YouTube
Streaming: ESPN App
Around the MLS Cup Playoffs:
It’s conference finals time to determine which two teams will meet in the 2020 MLS Cup Final on Saturday Dec. 12 at 8:00pm ET. The West final will take place Monday Dec. 7 at 9:30pm ET between the Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington.
The Sounders are the defending MLS Cup champions and are bidding to make the final for the fourth time in five seasons. Seattle is two wins away from its third MLS Cup in five seasons and is also attempting to be the first back-to-back champions in MLS since the LA Galaxy in 2011 and 2012.
Minnesota United is in just its fourth MLS season and can make their first MLS Cup with a victory on Monday. If they make the final, it would give the state of Minnesota a chance to have a major professional sports champion for the first-time in 19 years. The last Twin Cities champions were the Twins, winners of the 1991 World Series. If the Revolution defeat the Crew, the winner of the West final would host MLS Cup on Saturday.
MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule:
3 Columbus Crew vs. 8 New England Revolution (SUN 12/6, 3pm ET on ABC)
2 Seattle Sounders vs. 4 Minnesota United (MON 12/7, 9:30pm ET on FS1)
Last five matches:
April 6, 2019: Columbus Crew 1, New England Revolution 0 (MAPFRE Stadium)
March 9, 2019: New England Revolution 0, Columbus Crew 2 (Gillette Stadium)
May 19, 2018: New England Revolution 0, Columbus Crew 1 (Gillette Stadium)
April 21, 2018: Columbus Crew 2, New England Revolution 2 (MAPFRE Stadium)
May 21, 2017: New England Revolution 2, Columbus Crew 1 (Gillette Stadium)