We’re exactly a week away from the First Leg of the Eastern Conference Championship between Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls (5 p.m., tickets). If the most recent matches at MAPFRE Stadium are of any indication, spectators should be in for a treat.
In anticipation for Sunday’s match, we thought we put together a list of the five most exciting matches at MAPFRE Stadium this year. Check out the highlights below and let us know what was your most memorable moment at MAPFRE Stadium this season.
5. Kamara’s Iconic Goal Celebration in Home Opener
It was the 2015 home opener and the return of Kei Kamara. The forward played his first match at MAPFRE Stadium wearing the Black & Gold jersey in over seven years and kicked off his incredible 24-goal scoring run. A lot had changed since the day Kamara had left Columbus, including a new crest and name for the club. The forward paid homage to the club’s history and his own return with an iconic, throw-back goal celebration that perfectly captured what that 2015 home opener was all about. Oh, and Crew SC defeated rival Toronto FC 2-0. Match Recap
4. Crew SC Makes Quick Work of Philly in 4-1 Rout
A week after defeating Orlando City SC 3-0 at MAPFRE Stadium, Crew SC put in an even stronger performance on April 25 that ended in 4-1 defeat of the Philadelphia Union. Kei Kamara, Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram delivered three goals in the first 45 minutes to make quick work of Philly. Ethan Finlay, who also assisted Kamara’s goal, added his second tally in 73rd to complete the rout. Match Recap
3. McInerney’s First Goal Caps Off Comeback Win
This was a wild one at MAPFRE Stadium. After trailing Sporting Kansas City twice on this August 22nd night, Crew SC pulled off a thrilling 3-2 comeback win thanks to late goals by Tony Tchani (80th) and Jack McInerney (88th). Jack Mac’s first goal for the Black & Gold, a rebound off a Federico Higuain volley, kicked off a four-game winning streak for Crew SC. Match Recap
2. Closing Statement to the Regular Season
Crew SC ended its 2015 regular season with a bang. The Black & Gold dismantled D.C. United 5-0 on Major League Soccer’s Decision Day, clinching second place in the East and a berth in the Conference Semifinals. The five goals were the most Crew SC had scored in a single match in 12 years. Jack McInerney, Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay times two, and Aaron Schoenfeld contributed to the rout in front of a national television audience. Match Recap
1. Nail Biter in the Eastern Conference Semifinals
What drama. What joy. Crew SC’s 3-1 extra time win over the Montreal Impact was not for the faint-hearted. The Black & Gold were on the brink of elimination from the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs after the Impact leveled the scoreline in the 40th minute and Kei Kamara missed a penalty kick in the 68th minute. But pushed by a crowd of 19,026, Crew SC fought its way back into the match. Ethan Finlay’s goal in the 78th minute sent the match into extra time, where Kamara redeemed himself with the series-winning goal that sent MAPFRE Stadium into a state of euphoria. Match Recap