Nicolas Lodeiro, right, and Seattle Sounders FC takes on Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final Sunday at CenturyLink Field. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Nicolas Lodeiro, right, and Seattle Sounders FC takes on Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final Sunday at CenturyLink Field. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

POLL: Which team claims the MLS Cup?

Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC square off for the title Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

MLS’s grandest party pulls into town this weekend, and Seattle Sounders FC is looking to hold the biggest celebration.

The MLS Cup final, pitting the Sounders against Toronto FC (again), takes place at noon Sunday at CenturyLink Field, with Seattle hoping to earn the second championship in its 11 seasons in MLS.

Crazily, this is the third time in four years that Seattle and Toronto have met in the MLS Cup final. In 2016 Seattle prevailed in penalty kicks after the game remained scoreless through regulation and overtime. In 2017 Toronto controlled play and won 2-0. So this will be the rubber match, with the difference being that this year’s game is in Seattle while the previous two were in Toronto.

Neither team was supposed to be here. Seattle, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, was a heavy underdog when it went on the road to face Supporters’ Shield winner and top-seeded LAFC last Tuesday. However, Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer put on a tactical masterclass, setting the team up to neutralize LAFC’s potent attack and hit on the counterattack, resulting in a 3-1 victory.

Meanwhile, Toronto was the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and in danger of not making the playoffs at all. Yet Toronto went on the road to upset both top-seeded NYC FC and second-seeded Atlanta United to reach the final, winning both by 2-1 scores despite being heavily outshot in both contests.

So an expected CenturyLink Field crowd in excess of 69,000 — the game sold out in a matter of hours — should be in for a treat.

Seattle (16-10-8) is led by Uruguayan playmaking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro (seven goals, 12 assists during the regular season), who makes everything happen for the Sounders. He’s supported by Peruvian forward Raul Ruidiaz (11 goals, three assists), who has been on fire during the postseason, and local product Jordan Morris (10 goals, seven assists), who was named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year after suffering an ACL tear last year. The issues for Seattle have been in central defense, with Chad Marshall retiring and Roman Torres hobbled by a hamstring injury, meaning the Sounders have had to keep faith with Kim Kee-hee and Xavier Arreaga.

Toronto (13-10-11) is paced by Spanish playmaking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (12 goals, 12 assists), who was brought in this year to fill the shoes of longtime star Sebastian Giovinco. Veteran Michael Bradley (three goals, three assists), now 32 years old, continues to dictate things from central midfield. Toronto is sweating the health of target striker Jozy Altidore (11 goals, seven assists), who hasn’t played this postseason because of a quad injury, and central defender Omar Gonzalez, who was at least recovered enough from his hamstring injury to make the bench against Atlanta.

So Seattle versus Toronto for all the marbles yet again. Who do you got this time? Vote here:


Talk to us

More in Sports

The AquaSox' Noelvi Marte hits a double against the Spokane Indians at Funko Field on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 in Everett, Washington. The Mariners promoted Marte from Low-A Modesto to High-A Everett on Monday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Top-prospect Marte heating up in 2nd half for AquaSox

After some early struggles, the young shortstop batted .350 with three homers and 13 RBI in the past 11 games for Everett.

Washington's Steve Emtman leaves the field displaying the numberone sign after Washington's 34-14 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1992. Emtman and Washington's quarterback Billy Joe Hobert were named co-MVPs of the game. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
The Pac-12 will never be the same — and that’s sad for many

The dismantling of the conference hurts for those that have been fans for a long, long time.

Seattle Mariners infielders react after the Mariners defeated the San Diego Padres 6-2 in a baseball game Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Mariners sweep Padres, move within 1 game of .500

Seattle beats San Diego 6-2 for its 12th win in its past 15 games.

Seattle Seahawks owner Jody Allen stands on a balcony at CenturyLink Field after she raised the 12th man flag before the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Jody Allen: Seahawks, Blazers not for sale at this time

The statement came amid growing speculation about the future ownership of the teams.

FILE - Germany's assistant coach Jessica Campbell stands behind players on the German bench during the group A Hockey World Championship match between France and Germany in Helsinki, Finland, Monday May 16, 2022. The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired Jessica Campbell as the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Kraken AHL team hires 1st female assistant in league history

Jessica Campbell will be behind the bench for the Coachella Valley Firebirds next season.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett poses with a soccer ball in front of the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C.. (Provided photo)
How Rep. Rick Larsen helped Seattle secure its 2026 World Cup bid

The longtime congressman isn’t solely responsible, but he played a small role in bringing the event to the Pacific Northwest.

Storm
Dream pull away in 3rd to beat Storm

Seattle never leads in a 90-76 loss to Atlanta.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox fall to Canadians

Everett musters just two hits as Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis makes a rehab appearance.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Silvertips add pair in CHL import draft

Everett selects Czechian forward Dominik Rymon with pick 57 and Swiss goalie Tim Metzger 117th overall.

Most Read