Monday, December 12, 2016

Safe and Sound

            The Seattle Sounders' triumph over Toronto FC in the MLS Cup was one for the ages. The Sounders had no shots on target throughout the entire match and were outshot greatly by Toronto. However, they managed to outlast Toronto FC due to a strong performance by goalie Stefan Frei.
            For a franchise that was founded as an MLS franchise nine years ago, the search for MLS supremacy has been a long one. The capacity of the Sounders' stadium, Centurylink Field, has increased greatly since the Sounders' MLS inception in 2009. This is mainly due to the rising demands of tickets in the area. The Sounders even have their own marching band called the "Sound Wave", a 53-person marching band that was the first of its kind in MLS.
            Seattle's championship season is rather one of great interest. The Sounders parted ways with then-coach Sigi Schmid after an embarrassing loss to Sporting Kansas City on July 26. They promoted Brian Schmetzer to interim head coach and signed Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro on a designated player contract on the same day. Lodeiro scored four goals in 13 regular season matches and four goals in six MLS Cup appearances. Lodeiro also had eight assists during the regular season. Other significant performers on the Sounders include homegrown Jordan Morris (12 goals, six game-winning goals) and Clint Dempsey (eight goals). The Sounders ended up finishing fourth in the Western Conference after being in last place at one point in the regular season. They toppled the Colorado Rapids 3-1 to advance to the MLS Cup, eventually grinding out a win on penalty kicks (5-4) over Toronto FC.
            For a franchise that has supported soccer avidly in the area (and have witnessed their rival Portland Timbers win the MLS Cup a year ago), winning the Cup in grinding fashion was well worth the wait for Seattle's soccer fans. Their patience accumulated to their team hoisting the ultimate league prize and has them wanting more.

Photo Courtesy of King5

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