This article was originally published on UCSBGauchos.com.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Former UC Santa Barbara men’s soccer midfielder Ema Boateng has reached the final of MLS Cup with Columbus Crew SC, scheduled for Dec. 12 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Boateng could become the second former Gaucho in as many seasons to lift the trophy after Luis Silva (UCSB 2008-11) won it last year as an unused substitute with Seattle Sounders FC.
If Boateng is selected to the matchday squad of the Final, he would join Silva, Andy Iro (UCSB 2004-07, Columbus Crew 2008) and Joe Cannon (UCSB 1993, San Jose Earthquakes 2001) as Gauchos to do so.
That trio is joined by Rob Friend (UCSB 2001-02, LA Galaxy 2014) and Bryan Byrne (UCSB 2003-06, New England Revolution 2007) as MLS Cup champions. Friend and Byrne played a part for their respective sides throughout their MLS Cup-winning seasons but did not make the matchday squad for the Final.
Boateng spent one season at UCSB in 2012, scoring four goals and delivering two assists in 18 appearances. He was named that season’s Big West Freshman of the Year award and was also selected to the All-Big West First Team.
Boateng began his professional career with Helsingborgs IF in the Swedish Allsvenskan in 2013, before heading to MLS for stints with LA Galaxy, D.C. United, and now Columbus.
The 2020 MLS Cup Final will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on FOX.