Columbus Crew SC gets ready for MLS Eastern Conference Finals vs. New England this afternoon

COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC (three seed) hosts the New England Revolution (eight seed) at MAPFRE Stadium today, Sunday, December 6 in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final. The nationally televised match is set to air on ABC and ESPN Deportes at 3:00 p.m. ET. Today’s match also airs locally on the radio in English on 97.1 The Fan and streaming online via “Listen Live” at 971TheFan.com. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream the Spanish-language audio broadcast.

Crew SC defeated Nashville SC 2-0 this past Sunday through extra time goals by Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes to seal its spot in the Eastern Conference Final. The Crew has now advanced to the Eastern Conference Final in eight of its 16 MLS Cup Playoffs appearances. In 2020, the Black & Gold have posted a winning record of 11-1-0 across all competitions in matches held at MAPFRE Stadium, while outscoring opponents 25-8 and posting six shutouts.

The Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final – a single-elimination contest – is set to be the eighth all-time MLS postseason encounter between Crew SC and the New England Revolution. Today’s match will mark the first meeting of 2020 between the two sides. There are only five coaches in Major League Soccer’s 25-year history that have achieved a postseason winning percentage of 60 percent or greater while also possessing seven or more playoff victories. Two of the coaches on that list will be on the sidelines today as Crew SC Head Coach Caleb Porter and Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena lead their teams into the single-elimination contest.

Last season, the Crew defeated New England twice, winning 2-0 on the road through a Gyasi Zardes brace (March 6) and 1-0 at home thanks to a goal by Josh Williams (April 6). Notably, the Black & Gold have not lost any matches against New England that Zardes has featured in. Since joining the Crew ahead of the 2018 season, Zardes has helped the Club to a record of 3-0-1 against New England, while scoring three goals in four matches against the Revs.

This is the eighth time in Club history that Crew SC has reached the Conference Final and the third time in the last half-decade (2015, 2017, 2020), having also previously reached this stage from 1997-1999, 2002 and 2008. The last time the Club had an opportunity to advance to MLS Cup in a Conference Final-deciding match played in Columbus was in 2008 when the Club defeated the Chicago Fire before going on to capture its first MLS Cup trophy in the title match against the New York Red Bulls.

As previously announced, capacity at MAPFRE Stadium for today will include a significantly reduced number of ticketed individuals in addition to friends and family of the team, and all individuals will be expected to follow guidelines outlined as part of the Club’s Responsible Restart Plan. No tailgating will be permitted in the MAPFRE Stadium parking lots. Supporters are also reminded that MAPFRE Stadium is a cashless environment for the remainder of the season and supporters should be prepared to use a payment card for all in-stadium purchases, with Cash2Card machines available at the stadium. Applicable ticket updates about a potential MLS Cup match at MAPFRE Stadium will be communicated at a later date.

MATCH PREVIEW COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

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