The team that won the Supporters’ Shield and finished with the greatest record in MLS history took on the 7th place team in the league in MLS Cup yesterday because that’s how the league decides who the best team is. In a game that featured two teams that couldn’t beat Atlanta United in 2017, showcased the best, most expensive team in MLS history taking on Stefan Frei. Of course, the game was a re-match of last year’s final, a turgid affair that saw Seattle fail to make a shot on goal for the entire 120 minutes.
This time was at least a bit different. Seattle was not as cohesive in the midfield or backline although the attack was just as ineffectual. Clint Dempsey disappeared in the game while Will Bruin looked less like the player who suddenly scored goals despite being Will Bruin and looked more like Will Bruin. Really, nothing went right for Seattle in the game. Cristian Roldan and Gustav Svensson were routinely overrun in midfield and every single TFC starter had a shot in the game except Alex Bono.
Another difference was that Toronto had the Sounders on the back foot the entire game. Going forward the front three of Victor Vazquez, Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore created problems all night for the somewhat cobbled together Sounders defense. The result was Stefan Frei again standing on his head. Of course, the goal by Altidore put Toronto ahead in the 67th minute. With Seattle foundering an equalizer seemed unlikely and a late goal by Victor Vazquez sealed the game.
There was some controversy though. Jozy may have been offside when he scored the go-ahead goal as someone else with MS Paint illustrated:
Jozy Altidore clearly offside. What’s the point of video review if you don’t use it. @MLS @SoundersFC @torontofc @sounderatheart #MLSCup2017 #SoundersFC pic.twitter.com/7hYnErLpwP— Michael Heavey (@MJHeavey) December 9, 2017
Computer - rotate. This is some top notch CSI level MS Paint work, I may have to add using the fancy straight line drawing tool next year.
It wasn’t a great game, but Michael Bradley was his usual self, showing up in the face of a Sounders player anytime they had possession in the final third and doing is usual keeping possession while knocking forward the occasional well placed pass. The narrative of Jozy and Bradley getting some degree of redemption for the USMNT losing against Trinidad & Tobago added some intrigue to the match. Toronto getting the first ever treble for an MLS team after years and years of suffering and abysmal play also made the result satisfying.
There’s not much else to say about the best team in MLS history completely dominating a side from a weaker conference, so here’s the drawings.
And the team stats: