Monday’s soccer news starts with Columbus advancing to the 2020 MLS Cup final. The Crew knocked out New England 1-0 at home from an Artur goal in the 59th minute. Andrew Tarbell kept the clean sheet with four saves.
“The job is not done,” Columbus coach Caleb Porter said. “When we started this tournament, we wanted to make four steps. We have made three of the four. I know the guys in that locker room are really happy to put the Eastern Conference championship trophy in the trophy case – that’s what it is about – but there’s a much bigger trophy, the MLS Cup trophy, that we have our eye on. We expected to be here in this position, we believed we could be here, and now we have the opportunity to play a home game to become MLS Cup champions.”
New England’s unlikely run started in the play-in round and helped reset the Eastern Conference. Few expected a meeting of 3rd vs 8th-place in the East, with Revolution coach Bruce Arena once again showing he understands how to win in this league.
“We made progress last year,” Arena said. “We made progress this year. I think we want to continue that. In the offseason, we’re looking to bring in two or three players that can solidify our first 11. We got to get a little bit better there. Technically, we’re not as good as we need to be. We need to bring in a few better players to help us in the attacking end of the field. And we can use help in other positions. We’ll do our best to try to make our roster a little bit better.”
On the other side of the bracket, Seattle hosts Minnesota United on Monday night in the Western Conference final (9:30pm ET – FS1). After Minnesota knocked out top seed Sporting Kansas City, there’s no sense in playing down their chances. Seattle may have the best playoff reputation of any team in MLS, but this is still the league that likes an upset.
“It’s challenging to come up against an opponent for the first time in such an important game,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We have been pushing out more film, both individual clips of all the Minnesota players “The expectations of this club and the bar that we set are very high,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer told the club’s official site. “It’s reality. We don’t sugarcoat it. We don’t beat around the bush. We say, ‘We want to win, we want to be successful.’ That is what drives a lot of our training sessions, drives the next man up…. The club just, in my opinion, has a long history of being successful. I want to, not just in my time here, just wanna keep that going. Is there pressure? Is there all of that because the pundits are saying ‘Ok, Sounders are now the favorite’? Sure, there is. There’s always pressure.”
The Seattle Times’ Jayda Evans previews the Western Conference final. The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda focuses on the quick turnaround for United. MLSsoccer’s Matthew Doyle looks for the tactical advantages in the West. The Columbus Dispatch’s Jacob Myers talks to Crew defender Josh Williams about hosting MLS Cup. The Boston Globe’s Tara Sullivan has Revolution personnel focused on what’s next. Getting Concacafed’s Jon Arnold with Angullia wanting more in Concacaf.
Inside World Football’s Andrew Warshaw on FIFA’s announcement that there will be a Club World Cup in January and again in December. The NY Times’ Rory Smith reports on the limited number of fans in Premier League stadiums. The Atheltic’s Raphael Honigstein asks about the Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig’s defenses.
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