While Cucho was named MVP of the MLS CUP final, the Crew had no shortage of players who could have just as easily walked away with the award.
One of the key matchups going in to Saturday’s game was Moreira against LAFC goal-scoring monster Denis Bouanga. The Crew center back showed why he received votes for the MLS Best XI as he all but shut down the LAFC ace. Although Bouanga scored his team’s lone goal, it came after a turnover and was hardly the fault of Moreira.
I thought Matan was outstanding in helping keep possession and create chances. There were times when the diminutive native of Romania looked like he was running circles around the LAFC defense.
Darlington Nagbe and Aidan Morris could have shared the award. For a while in 2023, you said they are one of the best center midfield duos in all of MLS. After what we saw in the playoffs, there is no doubt they are the league’s best. They did a masterful job of moving LAFC’s defense to create openings for the Crew attack. When possession as lost, they worked to regain it and begin another attack.
The converted wingback may have played his best game since joining the Crew in late April. He was solid on the defensive back line throughout the final and that pass…that PASS!! His pass that set up what proved to be the game-winning goal was a thing of beauty. It is a good thing Crew fans will never get tired of seeing it, because that pass to Yaw Yeboah is going to be replayed for a long time.
Has any Crew player improved more over the course of the season than Schulte? In the final he looked confident and in control. His set piece organization improved so much, you weren’t holding your breath each time LAFC lined up for one. Schulte is the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history to start a final and win a Cup.
When you outplay a team on the level the Crew did to LAFC, there aren’t any weak spots in your lineup. Yeboah, Mo Farsi, Rudy Camacho, and Diego Rossi made significant contributions, but the guys I highlight are those who really jumped out at me. A total team effort with many worthy of MVP consideration.