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The Daily Dirt, December 1: Toronto through to the final

Epic night at BMO Field

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Montreal Impact at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Epic drama last night in Toronto as the Reds needed extra time to get past Montreal in the MLS Eastern Conference final. They will now host Seattle in the MLS Cup final on Saturday, December 10. If you missed, check out the highlights here:

In a driving rainstorm for most of the match, these teams combined for a game for the ages. It was not a clinic for the beautiful game, it was a pressure packed second leg in the playoffs. It was blood and guts, and it will leave a strong memory with supporters of both teams for years to come.

Toronto showed something last night that I was not sure that they had. They stepped up in a big moment. All season, they would follow up great play with mistakes. Their inconsistency was maddening because their highs were as good as we would see in the league. Silly, sloppy mistakes would come back to doom them. Not last night, Toronto grew up and got the job done.

Jozy Altidore was a warrior last night. He was dishing out punishment nearly as much as he was taking it, but also pulling off spectacular plays like the near post header for Toronto’s second goal and the one-on-one work to deliver the cross that sealed the win. That is the Jozy Altidore that we see in flashes with the national team. That is the Jozy Altidore we have seen quite a bit of in Toronto over the past few months.

Now, we prepare for two of the biggest teams in the league to do battle for the trophy. Seattle brings their Cinderella story of coming from nowhere to even make the playoffs and Toronto brings their decade of disappointment. There will be a new champion on December 10, but who will it be?


Domestic

Toronto heads to its first MLS Cup (Waking the Red)

Montreal heads home after an epic series (Mount Royal Soccer)

Heartbreaking loss for the Impact (Montreal Gazette)

MLS’ progress was on full display in Toronto last night (FourFourTwo)

Michael Bradley enjoying Toronto (The Score)

Chicago Fire looking to add Hungarian striker (ESPN)

More on potential MLS expansion to St. Louis (STL Today)

New Minnesota manager Adrian Heath is a winner (Star Tribune)

The NASL saga just gets bigger and weirder (Big Apple Soccer)

International

What happened to Tijuana in the playoffs in Liga MX? (FMF State of Mind)

Julian Green will miss a month with Bayern Munich (Stars and Stripes FC)