MATCH RECAP: Sounders FC falls 3-0 to Columbus Crew SC in 2020 MLS Cup Final

Recap Cup

Seattle Sounders FC fell in the 2020 MLS Cup Final on Saturday evening with a 3-0 loss to Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium. Lucas Zelarayán scored twice and Derrick Etienne added one for Columbus, as Crew SC won its second league championship in franchise history. The loss snaps an eight-match Seattle winning streak in the MLS Cup Playoffs, as the Rave green finish their 2020 campaign with a 14-7-8 record across all competitions. It marked the fourth MLS Cup appearance for Sounders FC in the last five seasons, having previously won in 2016 and 2019, and losing in 2017.

Columbus opened the scoring in the 25th minute when a cross found the feet of Zelarayán, who was able to slot it into the corner when Stefan Frei couldn’t get a handle on the ball. The Crew quickly doubled the score in the 31st minute when Etienne was able to curl the ball into the bottom right corner. Zelarayán was able to add one more in 82nd minute to make it 3-0.


  • Tonight’s MLS Cup marked the fourth time in the past five seasons that the Rave Green have competed in Major League Soccer’s title match. Since 2016, Sounders FC has represented the Western Conference in MLS Cup in three prior occasions (2016, 2017, 2019), raising the trophy twice (2016, 2019).
  • Seattle and Columbus met previously in 2020, a 1-1 draw on March 7 in Seattle. Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, but Raúl Ruidíaz converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute for the equalizer.
  • This is only the second loss the Rave Green suffered to an Eastern Conference team this season, as COVID-19 restrictions restricted the travel of teams. The first loss came during the MLS is Back Tournament on July 14 against the Chicago Fire by a score of 2-1.
  • Tonight’s matchup was the first-ever postseason meeting between Seattle and Crew SC. Prior to tonight, the two clubs had met just once outside of league play, the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, a 2-1 win for the Rave Green.
  • With tonight’s result, Sounders FC moves to 6-5-5 all-time against Columbus in MLS play (regular season and the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs). Seattle is now 4-3-1 in Central Ohio.

  • By playing in the 2020 MLS Cup, Seattle joins D.C. United as the only clubs in MLS history to make four finals in a five-season span.
  • Since taking over as Sounders FC Head Coach midway through 2016, Brian Schmetzer now has a postseason record of 15-4-2, good for the highest winning percentage in MLS Cup Playoffs history (.762).
  • Schmetzer kept the same starting lineup as the past three MLS Cup Playoff victories against Minnesota United (December 7), FC Dallas (December 1) and LAFC (November 24).
  • By starting tonight’s match, Nicolás Lodeiro, Stefan Frei, Cristian Roldan and Joevin Jones have started in all four MLS Cups that Sounders FC has played in (2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020).


Seattle Sounders FC 0 – Columbus Crew SC 3
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Venue: MAPFRE Stadium
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistants: Corey Parker, Kathryn Nesbitt
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
VAR: Drew Fischer
Attendance: 1,500
Weather: 46 degrees and cloudy


CLB – Lucas Zelarayán (Harrison Afful, Aidan Morris) 25’
CLB – Derrick Etienne (Lucas Zelarayán) 31’
CLB – Lucas Zelarayán (Luis Diaz) 82’


SEA – João Paulo (caution) 28’
SEA – Brad Smith (caution) 49’


Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan (Kelvin Leerdam 60’), Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Shane O’Neill (Jimmy Medranda 77’), Nouhou (Brad Smith HT); João Paulo (Will Bruin 60’), Cristian Roldan, Joevin Jones (Gustav Svensson HT), Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris; Raúl Ruidíaz

Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Román Torres, Miguel Ibarra, Jordy Delem

Total shots: 13 (Ruidíaz, 4)
Shots on goal: 2 (C. Roldan/Ruidíaz, 1)
Fouls: 13 (João Paulo/Lodeiro, 3)
Offside: 0
Corner-kicks: 8 (Lodeiro, 8)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)

Columbus Crew SC – Eloy Room; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Milton Valenzuela; Aidan Morris, Artur (Fatai Alashe 88’), Luis Diaz (Waylon Francis 90’), Lucas Zelarayán, Derrick Etienne (Hector Jimenez 83’); Gyasi Zardes

Substitutes not used: Andrew Tarbell, Aboubacar Keita, Youness Mokhtar, Emmanuel Boateng, Krisztian Nemeth, Fanendo Adi

Total shots: 15 (Zelarayan/Zardes, 3)
Shots on goal: 5 (Zelarayan, 2)
Fouls: 15 (Artur, 3)
Offside: 0
Corner-kicks: 7 (Zelarayan, 7)
Saves: 2 (Room, 2)

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