Seattle Sounders: 3 reasons why they won MLS Cup

Sounders overrun TFC to claim MLS cup despite Altidore's return

Sounders overrun TFC to claim MLS cup despite Altidore's return

The final marked the third time in the last four years the two sides met for the MLS Cup, Seattle winning in 2016 and TFC in 2017.

Despite a tepid first half, in terms of goals scored this was a final in keeping with the postseason matches that had preceded it: ahead of Sunday, this year's MLS playoffs averaged four goals per game.

Still, it has to hurt badly for the architects of this team over the last five years: Vanney, Altidore and especially Bradley, who may have played his last game for the club.

"I'm going to get a little emotional because it's really a good moment for the city of Seattle, the fans, the players who have overcome a lot of adversity this year", Brian Schmetzer, the Seattle head coach, told ESPN.

The crowd of almost 70,000 represents the largest non-concert attendance at any event in the history of CenturyLink Field, which hosts the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

After Toronto controlled possession for much of the match, Seattle got its decisive chance in the 57th minute. Kelvin Leerdam corralled a pass from Raul Ruidiaz, dribbled around a defender, and struck.

The ball ricocheted off the knee of a defender and past Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westerberg to give the Sounders a lead they never lost.

Like January in November: Much of US braces for record lows
The national forecaster has predicted a week of unsettled and cold weather, with wintry showers looking set to land by mid-week. Parts of the Northeast were already hit with snow, with Erie, Pennsylvania seeing its first measurable snow of the season.

MLS streamlined its playoff process this year, shifting to a single-game elimination format that invited upsets.

By the time Altidore headed home Toronto's lone goal of the day, assisted by TFC man of the match Alejandro Pozuelo, the home crowd was already so deep into celebration mode the setback barely registered.

The hometown Seattle Sounders sent nearly 70,000 of their closest friends home in ecstasy in Sunday's MLS Cup final against Toronto FC, beating the Reds 3-1 in the domestic league's championship match for the second time in four years to hoist the hardware despite being thoroughly outplayed by the visitors for most of the match. Sounders supporters gathered by the thousands as local rapper Macklemore headlined festivities in Occidental Park before beginning their traditional march to the stadium. This was not a victory that owed everything to his undoubted tactical acumen, but to a fluke that shifted the momentum of the tie and gave the Sounders a sorely-needed injection of confidence.

And, for almost 60 minutes, it appeared that continent of fans might see an upset.

TFC came inches from opening the scoring, when Seattle keeper Stefan Frei made a huge diving save on a low, left-footed shot by Benezet in the 36th minute. The first 45 minutes ended with the score 0-0.

Jordan Morris, a Mercer Island native, ignited the crowd early on a breakaway, and once again in the second half, but both runs came up empty.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune.

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