Columbus Crew SC host virtual celebration to commemorate MLS Cup title

Columbus Crew SC - MLS Cup - Celebration

It's nothing but jubilation in Columbus Crew SC land, as the club continues to bask in the glow of its second-ever MLS Cup title, secured on Saturday with a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders at MAPFRE Stadium.

Ordinarily, a parade would be the next thing on the docket, but it being 2020, the Crew settled for a virtual celebration at MAPFRE where club president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko, head coach Caleb Porter and select players were on hand to commemorate the championship and address the fans.

Afterward, several players were made available to the media to discuss the club's remarkable championship run, which saw them dominate the Sounders despite playing without a pair of crucial contributors due to positive COVID-19 test results in Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos.

One of the key players who stepped up to fill the void was 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder Aidan Morris, who put in a standout shift in helping Columbus neutralize Seattle star Nicolas Lodeiro and controlling the game in the middle of the park. Morris said conversations with his veteran teammates have instilled in him how unique it is to get a title so early in his career, and further noted the significance to him as an academy product who almost saw his hometown club move to Austin before the "Save the Crew" movement.

Morris was photographed holding a #SavetheCrewAcademy banner at a home match in 2017, a photo that resurfaced in the aftermath of Saturday's win.

"I think it’s slowly sinking in. I was talking to my family about it last night and after we won it was just obviously an amazing experience," Morris said. "I was talking to a couple of my teammates and they were saying guys play their whole entire careers to get an opportunity like this to win a championship. For me [that it] happened in my first year, I’m so grateful for that. I hope for many more. It’s slowly sinking in and I’m loving every moment of it.

"That was just an opportunity for me, being a big academy player, to show it meant a lot for me to have the club here and now look where I’m at, playing in an MLS Cup Final. It’s crazy how all things come back around. It was a great experience and I’m glad that picture resurfaced."

Morris' fellow midfield standout, Artur, also talked about what the moment represents for him in his career as his first title at the professional ranks. 

"This is my first professional title," he said. "I won some in the academy in Sao Paulo, but it’s a vey special one. It’s been a very tough year for everybody here. We’ve been testing like every day and we’ve had injuries and we’ve got some players with the virus. It wasn’t easy. Myself, I had to play a lot of games, all the playoffs games with injuries, had to take medicine, shots. The last game was very difficult, but it was a moment we had to give a little bit more and to finish the season well because everybody fought so hard this whole year. I’m very, very happy we got to finish this way.

"For me, personally, I’m very excited about the ring. When I first came here I talked to my family and closest friends and I was like that ring, it’s amazing. I’m going over [to MLS] at a young age, but I want that ring. I can’t wait for it."

The emotions were similarly raw for Ohio-native Josh Williams, who has his first league title to his name at age 32 in his second stint with the club.

"I cried like a baby, first of all," said Williams. "So much emotion and energy have been invested into this and there’s so many people that I wish I could bottle that feeling up and give to them. I hope that when that final whistle blew, I hope everyone who had a part in it, their hearts were filled with pride.

"It was all worth it for that moment. For everybody to get to celebrate their accomplishments and what they’ve done on that type of stage, and the way we won, the convincing style. It’s no longer Save the Crew, they saved champions and I think we can take that with us forever."