After getting to the finals of the MLS Cup through what could be described as a bumpy road, Toronto FC was able to stand their ground and complete what has been a record breaking season. The Canadian club defeated the Seattle Sounders 2nil in the final match, becoming the first MLS team to win the domestic treble of the Supporters shield, Canadian Championship/US Open Cup, and MLS Cup.
The fixture, which was played on the 9th of December at the BMO Field was a repeat of what we saw last year, but Toronto FC was dedicated enough to avoid a repeat of last year’s result that saw Sounders dancing away with the trophy after a horrendous penalty shootout. They clearly showed why they are a top team in the championship.
Seattle Sounders had reached the final in a very colorful manner, dismantling Houston Dynamo with a 5 – 0 aggregate score after the legged encounter to clinch the Western Conference Championship. Toronto, on the other hand, relied on a lone goal against the Columbus Crew FC to win the Eastern conference.
The final match on 9th clearly demonstrated the quality of the MLS. In what appeared to be a gamble, Greg Vanney’s Toronto switched from a back three, which had proved successful for them all season, to a back four. The formation worked well enough as they were able to win the match with a clean sheet. Sounders got the match on the way, but as soon as Toronto got the ball, they made their intent known, dominating play and threatening to score in as early as the second minute when Drew Moor headed over the bar, following a corner.
After the first half, the goalless score-line was a flattery one to Sounders as they could have conceded severally. Their keeper, Stefan Frei was dependable; making so many man-of-the-match saves. In the second half, however, his heroics were put on check in the 67th minute when Jozy Altidore broke the deadlock. The Toronto club did not relent after the goal even as the final whistle approached and Sounders looked for an equalizer. Victor Vasquez added the icing on the cake following a fine counter-attack in stoppage time.
The result saw Toronto avenging last year loss and completing an enviable historic win and the supporters shield again.
Toronto FC wins MLS Cup 2017 in strength and dominance, can they do it again next year?