12.21.20 - quote - darwin

It is no coincidence Jonathan Mensah praised the Columbus Crew fans time after time following the Crew's MLS Cup win.


After all, he said, that gallant raising of the trophy wouldn't have been possible without them, the 30-year-old captain and Best XI defender told reporters.


"It's been an incredible journey for the club, for the city and for the people of Columbus. We are so grateful for their sacrifices off the field, and what we could do to...pay them back was to win this trophy for them. Thankful that we have this amazing fan base behind us and we did this for them."

No stranger to sacrifice on the field or off, Mensah not only started each of Columbus's 27 matches this season but never left the pitch, having played every single minute of every match. Hence the defender's emotional outcry following the final whistle vs. Seattle.


"It was just, you know, me thinking about what the fans and the community, and everyone behind the Save the Crew movement, for this to be possible today. It is by their efforts and their fight off the field, their determination, their resiliency...got us to where we are now to be able to accomplish this mission," Mensah said.


"So it was so emotional for me, because I was a part of the group about the move, but thankful for the fans for the massive job they did. Yeah, I needed to pour it all out for them."

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MENSAH | Captain, Best XI defender Jonathan Mensah shares his thanks -

Let's just say there wasn't a lot of first-person singular pronouns being used in his post-match remarks, and it continued on when asked about what it was like for him, as captain, to raise the trophy:


"For me, I don't think it means anything. I know it means everything for our fans," Mensah said. "When the coach gave me the armband, I told the whole team, you know, I have the armband, but we are all captains on the field, and these guys have been incredible."

MENSAH | Captain, Best XI defender Jonathan Mensah shares his thanks -

Well, the "captains" (emphasis on the plural) delivered 12 shutouts throughout the regular season and playoffs, including a 300-minute consecutive shutout streak to close the year -- a simply incredible accomplishment on its own, let alone in the playoffs on the biggest stage of the season in a year like no other.


"For whatever circumstances that [are] happening in 2020, we overcame all those obstacles, and to be able to win this trophy is such an incredible achievement for us."


Of course, what happened in Columbus was only part of it, as Mensah played the entirety of 2020 away from his wife, Kafui, who remained in the couple's native country of Ghana.


"I have an incredible wife, and we spoke about this before I left for preseason, and she was like, 'Hey go do your thing, I'll be here praying, supporting you,'" Mensah explained.


Well?


"We did it now," Mensah said.



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