Ten years ago, CenturyLink Field (then known as Qwest Field) played host to the MLS Cup Final between Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy. RSL won on penalties, while the Seattle Sounders’ inaugural season in MLS ended in an early playoff exit to the Houston Dynamo.
Fast forward to present day, with no more neutral site for the championship game, the Sounders captured Major League Soccer’s grand prize for the second time in franchise history. For the third time in four years, their opponents were Toronto FC, whom Seattle bested on penalties in Toronto in 2016, then lost 2-0 in the rematch the following year.
The rubber match was held in Seattle in what was the largest crowd in the history of the stadium. A whopping 69,274 fans packed the place on Sunday afternoon to witness the Sounders beat Toronto FC by a scoreline of 3-1 to become champions of MLS in front of what has long been the biggest fanbase in all of American soccer.
“Can you win a game in the 1st half?!” - Pete Carroll probably said to himself when the Sounders struggled their way into a fortunate 0-0 halftime scoreline
Well in a world where Carroll actually said that, he was right. An own goal off of Justin Morrow, followed by great finishes by Victor Rodriguez and Raul Ruidiaz put Toronto FC out of sight and out of the game, before Jozy Altidore’s consolation goal in stoppage time made up the final scoreline.
That’s one Seattle football team winning a second championship in franchise history. Up next, the Seahawks.
Congratulations to the Sounders on their latest MLS Cup title! This new single-elimination playoff format produced an epic 4-3 win over FC Dallas just to make the Western Conference semifinals, a 2-0 home win over Real Salt Lake, a stunning 3-1 victory on the road over the historically dominant LAFC, and they more than earned this championship.