Columbus Crew represent MLS in Campeones Cup

Columbus Crew Campeones Cup

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Crew take on LIGA MX champion Cruz Azul Wednesday at the Crew’s brand-new stadium, Lower.com Field in the Campeones Cup, 8:00 p.m. ET on Univision, TUDN and ESPN2 in the U.S., TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, and Canal 5 in Mexico

The 2021 season has had its ups and downs for the Crew. The team is battling for a berth in the playoffs, but Wednesday they will have to put that particular fight on hold as they have the opportunity to represent the whole league in a one-off competition with our rivals to the south.

What would a Campeones Cup mean for The Columbus Crew?

This year hasn’t gone as planned.

Heading into this season pundits and fans alike tabbed the Columbus Crew as a team that could win and compete for every trophy that was up for grabs. Somewhere after the Champions League and losing too many games to challenge for the supporter’s shield, that plan was derailed.

Tucked into the packed schedule was the Campeones Cup. A recently created competition between champions of MLS and LIGA MX.

Some Crew fans might not be sure of how serious to take this game. At its lowest, it feels like one of those old mid-season exhibitions against a larger club that was a free add-on to your season ticket plan. At its highest, it feels like a battle for continental supremacy and something the front office can brag about for a few years in the hopes of selling more tickets.

The recent run of form

The truth is comfortably in the middle. Wednesday’s match is a nationally broadcast home game for the Columbus Crew in their new stadium. LIGA MX has made a habit of beating MLS teams in these types of events.

A home win on national tv would certainly feel good for most Crew fans. The players would also enjoy lifting some hardware, who wouldn’t?

Going into this game The Crew have won three straight at Lower.com field. A win Wednesday would add to the building confidence we are experiencing out of the black and gold.

Would a win catapult Columbus above the playoff line? No, and with the rest of MLS playing each other odds are the Crew’s chances may waver in the wrong direction. But who doesn’t want to see their team win?

The growing expansion of MLS and LIGA MX

Just last week MLS and LIGA MX got together to announce an expanded Champions League format and a completely re-imagined Leagues Cup tournament. For one month both leagues will put their competitions on hold and take part in a world cup style tournament.

What does this mean exactly for the Campeones Cup and The Columbus Crew? These cross-over events are starting to be taken very seriously by the power brokers of North American Soccer.

Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, a Campeones Cup victory is looked at as a badge of honor in the growing landscape of MLS v. LIGA MX competitions. A win now in 2021 would be something to build a reputation of continental success on.

Last words

Considering the current state of the MLS season I’m sure most fans would prefer to play a league game Wednesday in hopes of climbing the Eastern Conference standings. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The Crew won the 2020 MLS cup, and the result of that victory is playing in the Campeones Cup Wednesday night. It might feel inconsequential now, but when the whistle blows and the lights are on, every Crew fan is going to want their team to win.

So let see The Dot packed and loud for the full 90. The Soccer Gods might shine down and present Lucas Zelarayán with a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box. Miguel Berry could storm off the bench and bury another late goal. The opportunities are endless, I can’t wait to see what might happen.

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