The Seattle Sounders have reached a new milestone after they delivered a gutsy performance in Colorado on Sunday to move on to the club’s first league final. The Sounders will play in MLS Cup 2016!
A 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in the second leg of the Western Conference Championship on Sunday afternoon was more than enough to secure a 3-1 aggregate goals victory and send a team that had been written off by most pundits in late July to their first title game in the MLS era.
Seattle will still have to wait a few more days to see who they will play and whether they will host the match on Dec. 10 (8 pm ET; FOX and UniMás; TSN and RDS in Canada), a right which is granted to the team with the highest regular-season point total.
If Toronto FC (53 regular season points) are able to turn around their series with the Montreal Impact (45 regular season points) – the Impact currently lead 3-2 on aggregate – at BMO Field on Wednesday night (7 pm ET; FS1 and FOX Deportes in USA; TSN1 and RDS in Canada), the title game will head to Toronto. If Montreal are able to hold out, Seattle (48 regular season points) would host them at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders, who joined MLS in 2009, have qualified for every postseason since joining the league and reached the Conference Championship stage twice, in 2012 and again in 2014 after they won the Supporters’ Shield. They lost both series to the LA Galaxy, who went on to win MLS Cup in both of those years.
The opportunity to contest their first MLS Cup will surely be among the biggest moments in Sounders team history, but a win in the title game would be far from the first trophy they have collected as an MLS team. In addition to their 2014 Supporters’ Shield triumph, Seattle captured the US Open Cup in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.
With the win over Colorado, Seattle also kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the 2017-’18 CONCACAF Champions League. They will need to win the MLS Cup title to earn the last remaining place for US-based teams in next year’s tournament, which would otherwise go to New York City FC as the remaining eligible, non-qualified team with the highest regular-season points total in 2016.