Instant Analysis: the Seattle Sounders win their second MLS Cup

Dylan Mickanen

The Seattle Sounders are the MLS Champions for the second time in four seasons after defeating Toronto FC 3-1 in front of a franchise-record 69,274 fans at CenturyLink Field. 

In the 57th minute, Seattle became the first Western Conference team to score a live goal in the MLS Cup since 2014 when Kelvin Leerdam's shot bounced off a Toronto defender into the net. It was the fourth own goal in MLS Cup history. 

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore played through a quad strain when he entered the game in the 66th minute to try and equalize the game. It was his first action of the playoffs after suffering the injury on Decision Day. 

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However, Seattle put the game away in the 75th minute when Víctor Rodríguez shot a rocket into the bottom right corner to gain a two-goal advantage.  For the icing on the cake, Raúl Ruidíaz also scored in the 90th minute after he collected a deep ball. 

Altidore would put one in the back of the net in stoppage time to put Toronto on the scoreboard.

Tough pill to swallow for Toronto

The first half was dominated by Toronto who had 65 percent possession with the Sounders dropping back looking to score on a counter. Toronto FC passed circles around Seattle in the midfield but couldn't finish in the last third of the field. 

When Seattle got on the counter they also had multiple blown opportunities where shots either sailed over the net or right at the keeper. Additionally, Toronto CB Michael Bradley also had three different goal-saving tackles in the first half to prevent his team from going down a goal. 

Of all the players to be upset, Bradley should be the most affected. If Toronto had won the game, a clause in his contract would have added another guaranteed year at $6.5 million for winning the MLS Cup. 

Familiar Final

This was the third time in four years that Seattle and Toronto matched up in the league final with the teams splitting the previous matchups. However, this was the first time the MLS Cup was held at CenturyLink Field. In 2016, the Sounders infamously won the game in penalty kicks after not achieving a single shot on goal during the 120 minutes of play. The following year, Toronto got their revenge defeating Seattle 2-0 in a final that was never in doubt. 

 

Instant Analysis: the Seattle Sounders win their second MLS Cup originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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