Recap: Sounders bring MLS Cup to Seattle

TORONTO, ONTARIO (Sounders release) Competing in the club’s first-ever MLS Cup, Seattle Sounders defeated Toronto FC on Saturday night in front of a record crowd of 36,045 at BMO Field in Major League Soccer’s 21st championship match. The Rave Green claimed their first MLS Cup title via penalty shootout following 120 minutes, with Stefan Frei standing tall in goal and defender Roman Torres netting the winning penalty to seal the victory.
With both sides participating in their first championship match in their respective histories, the opening 45 minutes were hard-fought and tense, as the two clubs jockeyed for position in the frigid Canadian winter night. Though scoreless, the opening period provided back-and-forth play, with the two clubs splitting the share of possession for the first half. Both sides drew two corner-kicks, with Seattle committing seven fouls to Toronto’s two. Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall picked-up the first caution of the contest in first-half stoppage time.  Toronto closed the half with a 6-0 advantage in shots, but neither side was able to find a breakthrough.
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The tension only increased throughout the second half, with chance after chance narrowly missing, leaving nothing to separate the teams at full-time. Stefan Frei stood tall in Seattle’s goal throughout the contest, but particularly in the second half, with the Swiss netminder recording seven saves, including a critical leaping stop in second-half stoppage time on Jozy Altidore header to force extra time.
After 30 minutes of scoreless extra time, Sounders FC edged Toronto 5-4 in a penalty shootout to claim the sixth trophy in club history. Frei made a crucial save on Michael Bradley’s attempt and Justin Morrow’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced out, leading to Román Torres converting the winning attempt past Clint Irwin.
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MATCH SUMMARY
 
Seattle Sounders FC 0 (5) – Toronto FC 0 (4)
Saturday, December 10, 2016
 
Venue: BMO Field
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistants: Frank Anderson, Joe Fletcher
Fourth Official: Allen Chapman
Fifth Official: Danny Thornberry
Attendance: 36,045
Weather: Clear and 26 degrees
SCORING SUMMARY
None
SHOOTOUT SUMMARY
TOR – Jozy Altidore – scored
SEA – Brad Evans – scored
TOR – Michael Bradley – saved
SEA – Andreas Ivanschitz – scored
TOR – Benoit Cheyrou – scored
SEA – Alvaro Fernandez – saved
TOR – Will Johnson – scored
SEA – Joevin Jones – scored
TOR – Drew Moor – scored
SEA – Nico Lodeiro – scored
TOR – Justin Morrow – missed

SEA – Román Torres – scored

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
 
SEA – Chad Marshall (caution) 45’+1′
SEA – Joevin Jones (caution) 72′
TOR – Michael Bradley (caution) 90’+3′
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso – captain, Cristian Roldan, Nico Lodeiro, Erik Friberg (Alvaro Fernandez 67′) Jordan Morris (Brad Evans 108′), Nelson Valdez (Andreas Ivanschitz 73′)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Herculez Gomez, Oniel Fisher, Zach Scott
Total shots: 3 (3 players, 1)
Shots on goal: 0
Fouls: 19 (Alonso, 5)
Offside: 0
Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 3)
Saves: 7 (Frei, 7)
 
Toronto FC – Clint Irwin; Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund; Michael Bradley – captain, Jonathan Osorio (Will Johnson 77′), Armando Cooper (Benoit Cheyrou 85′), Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow; Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco (Tosaint Ricketts 104′)
Substitutes not used: Alexander Bono, Josh Williams, Mark Bloom, Tsubasa Endoh
Total shots: 19 (Giovinco, 6)
Shots on goal: 7 (Altidore, 3)
Fouls: 21 (Cooper, 4)
Offside: 0
Corner-kicks: 10 (Bradley/Giovinco, 5)
Saves: 0
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MATCH NOTES
  • Sounders FC became the 11th club to win MLS Cup on Saturday evening. Seattle now has a 11-10-5 record all-time in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Sounders FC is 7-2-3 all-time against Toronto FC in MLS competitions, with this being the first postseason meeting between the two sides.
  • Sounders FC became the first team in MLS history win the MLS Cup with zero shots on goal. In the first half, the Rave Green also became the first team in the history of the final to not record a single shot in a half.
  • Sounders FC occupied the ninth position in the Western Conference on September 16, before embarking on a 10-2-1 run, including a 5-1-1 mark to close out the regular season and a 4-1-1 run in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Seattle extended its club record with a fourth series win in a single postseason.
  • Head Coach Brian Schmetzer has posted a 12-3-5 record since taking over managerial duties on July 26.
  • While competing against his former team, Stefan Frei recorded seven saves, one shy of the MLS Cup record, and earned the MLS Cup MVP.
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