Seattle Sounders players and staff (pictured) gather for a photo with the MLS Cup silverware after overcoming host Toronto FC in the final on December 10, 2016. (Photo: Howard C. Smith/isiphotos.com)
TORONTO – The Seattle Sounders captured their first-ever MLS Cup title on Saturday, prevailing over host Toronto FC, 5-4 on penalty kicks, after a scoreless draw in the final before 36,045 fans at BMO Field.
After Justin Morrow hit the crossbar with Toronto’s sixth attempt, Panama international Roman Torres netted to seal the triumph for Seattle, which also clinched a place in the 2017/18 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei was named the game’s MVP, making seven saves, including one in the 108th minute at the right post in which he somehow clawed away Jozy Altidore’s looping header. The 30-year-old custodian spent five years with Toronto prior to being traded to Seattle in 2014.
With the penalty shootout even at 1-1, Frei saved a Michael Bradley effort, but three excellently placed kicks by Trinidad & Tobago international Joevin Jones, Nicolas Lodeiro and Torres in attempts four through six sealed silverware for Seattle.
The Sounders have made four previous SCCL appearances, reaching the quarterfinals three times. Toronto will also participate in the 2017/18 SCCL by virtue winning the 2016 Amway Canadian Championship.
MLS Cup -- Final
December 10, 2016: BMO Field – Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Att: 36,045)
Toronto FC-Seattle Sounders 0-0 aet (0-0)
Seattle Sounders are MLS Cup champion (4-5 pens)
Seattle Sounders FC: Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones, Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro, Erik Friberg (Alvaro Fernandez 67') Jordan Morris (Brad Evans 108'), Nelson Valdez (Andreas Ivanschitz 73'). Head Coach: Brian Schmetzer
Toronto FC: Clint Irwin; Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio (Will Johnson 77'), Armando Cooper (Benoit Cheyrou 85'), Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco (Tosaint Ricketts 104'). Head Coach: Greg Vanney
R: Alan Kelly; AR1: Frank Anderson; AR2: Joe Fletcher; 4th: Allen Chapman
TOR - Jozy Altidore – scored (1-0)
SEA - Brad Evans - scored (1-1)
TOR - Michael Bradley – saved (1-1)
SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz – scored (1-2)
TOR - Benoit Cheyrou – scored (2-2)
SEA - Alvaro Fernandez – saved (2-2)
TOR - Will Johnson – scored (3-2)
SEA - Joevin Jones – scored (3-3)
TOR - Drew Moor – scored (4-3)
SEA - Nico Lodeiro – scored (4-4)
TOR - Justin Morrow – missed (4-4)
SEA - Roman Torres – scored (4-5)