It’s a landslide. The voters are expecting a cup-lifting celebration Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle Sounders FC takes on Toronto FC in the MLS Cup championship game at noon on Sunday. It is the third time in four years Seattle and Toronto are squaring off for the title, and the Sounders are seeking their second MLS championship in the franchise’s 11-season history.
POLL: Which team claims the MLS Cup when the championship game is played Sunday at CenturyLink Field?
Full context, including a closer look at the teams and how they got to the title game, here: https://t.co/2s7RmM0YeC
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) November 4, 2019
Add it all up and a whopping 90 percent of the voters picked the Sounders to prevail Sunday, with just 10 percent predicting Toronto to lift the cup. That’s a blowout.
I get it. This is a Pacific Northwest-based publication, so of course the voters are going to favor the Sounders. One can’t be surprised that the results are this lopsided.
And I happen to agree. I think all the signs point toward a Seattle win. The Sounders are at home, where 69,000-plus fans will be going crazy in support of the team, in contrast to the previous two times the teams met in the MLS Cup final, both of which were in Toronto. Seattle finished the season with a better record than Toronto, and when the teams met during the regular season — granted, it was way back in April — the Sounders prevailed 3-2. Seattle comes into the game having just beaten the league’s best team, LAFC, on the road in what was a tactical masterclass. And Toronto will probably be without star striker Jozy Altidore, who is unlikely to play Sunday because of a quadriceps injury. If I were putting money on the game I’d put it on the Sounders.
Las Vegas agrees. The Sounders are currently listed at -225, which equates to 4/9 odds, or about 69 percent. That may not be as one-sided as the poll results, but it still makes Seattle a heavy favorite, especially in a one-off game.
But that’s the beauty of soccer. In a one-off game anything can happen. One team can completely dominate the game, but a couple good saves by the goalkeeper and one good moment on the break and a team can steal a result. Need proof? Just look at the 2016 MLS Cup championship game between the teams, when Toronto dominated play, but Stefan Frei made some spectacular saves, and the Sounders won their first championship in a shootout.
So it’s good to have confidence in the Sounders. Just don’t get cocky Sunday, soccer has a way of punishing overconfidence.