The first international event at Lower.com Field is a little over a month away. The Columbus Crew is set to host Cruz Azul in the third Campeones Cup on Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. ET. The club announced Tuesday morning that tickets have gone on sale for the match in what we would expect to be a sellout.
The 2021 Campeones Cup will be the first of two non-MLS matches to be played at Lower.com Field this year. Oct. 13 will be the first national game at the new stadium as the United States Men’s National Team will host Costa Rica in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match. Tickets for that match are available through a lottery conducted by U.S. Soccer.
The Black & Gold will be the third different MLS club to play in the one-game North American final after winning the 2020 MLS Cup last December against the Seattle Sounders. Since the Campeones Cup’s inception in 2018, the MLS team has hosted each time as Columbus welcomes a very good Cruz Azul side out of Liga MX.
Cruz Azul booked its spot in the game after a 2-1 win in the Campeon de Campeones. La Maquina were the champions of the second half of the 2020-21 Liga MX season, Torneo Guardianes 2021 and defeated the first half champions, Torneo Guadianes 2020, Club Leon, in the match on Sunday. Like MLS, Cruz Azul will be the third different team to play in the Campeones Cup.
The first two editions of the competition both produced exciting results with each league getting a victory. The inaugural Campeones Cup was won by Tigres UANL 3-1 against Toronto FC at BMO Field in Canada. Current Crew star Lucas Zelarayan played 88 minutes for the winning Liga MX side on the day.
Two years ago in the last Campeones Cup in Georgia saw Atlanta United hold on to an exciting 3-2 victory against Club America at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Current Black & Gold midfielder Darlington Nagbe played the full match for the Five Stripes, giving the 2021 Crew roster two champions of this competition.
The two clubs have a combined 25 domestic trophies but the Crew is still in search of its first international trophy, something Cruz Azul has in abundance. Cruz Azul has won the Champions League once before in 2013-14 and claimed five CONCACAF Champions Cup, so the club is familiar with success in the region and globe. The Black & Gold aspire to those heights and this match in September is a perfect chance to begin that for the club and the stadium.
Before the Crew host Cruz Azul, the squad has nine MLS regular season matches with a road trip this weekend. Columbus will play the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field this Sunday evening to try and snap a three-match losing streak.