Tomorrow at 2 PM MT, LAFC host Philadelphia Union in the 2022 MLS Cup Final. This game’s a relatively benign matchup for Colorado Rapids fans. Rocky Mountain Cup rival Real Salt Lake isn’t playing. None of the three former Rapids head coaches in MLS are in the final. The only former Burgundy Boy on either team is Kellyn Acosta, who was liked while he played in Commerce City. Who then should Rapids fans be rooting for tomorrow? Or should they just watch as neutrals with no stress?
Arguments for rooting for LAFC:
This could be Kellyn Acosta’s final game in MLS, for LAFC to be clear. Pending an injury tomorrow, he’ll be with the USMNT at the World Cup. If he plays well, there should be interest from Europe come January. Acosta was a huge part of Colorado’s rise during his time at the club. He had that dog in him. At times, he embodied Rapids Thug Life. His being traded to LAFC came as a surprise after his relationship with the club quickly deteriorated this past winter. My sense is most fans are madder at the front office for how they handled the situation. Kellyn is not seen as a traitor.
The Rapids also beat LAFC this year, 2-0 back in the summer before they went super club in signing Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini. Maybe you want to be able to say the Rapids beat the Shield and MLS Cup winner? Colorado did lose 6-0 to Philly during their horrible east coach road trip.
Arguments for rooting for the Union:
Philly is what the Rapids are trying to be in many ways. They’ve been a great team for years and done so on the budget. They make smart, economical, and picky foreign singings. They’ve got great domestic players like Alejandro Bedoya. They’ve drafted well, with Jack Elliot and Andre Blake anchoring one of the best defenses in league history. They’ve got Homegrowns who contribute.
The Union are the MLS 3.0 version of what Sporting KC had been for the last decade. That’s the model the Rapids and the Rapids Community aspire to.
LAFC is always going to have three DPs. It will take KSE years to shell out the amount of money that LAFC will spend on a transfer fee for a single player. They’ve got global stars in Vela and Bale. LAFC is the big money evil empire in this final. “How dare they buy a championship” one might say.
Philly winning this game will be a beacon of hope to many MLS teams and fans. It will be proof one can win a championship in the modern MLS without breaking the bank.
For those reasons, I am hoping tomorrow comes up DOOP. But I think LAFC wins 2-1 in 90 minutes. If LAFC does win, I will be happy for Acosta. This would be a great finale to his MLS career, or at least to his rise in his prime, which Colorado helped manifest.
Who are you rooting for in MLS Cup? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
You can watch the game tomorrow at 2 PM MT on FOX and TUDN.