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Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders | 2017 MLS Cup Preview

Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders
Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs – MLS Cup
BMO Field – Toronto, Ontario
4 pm ET – Dec. 9, 2017
WATCH: ESPN, UniMás (US) | TSN, TVAS (Canada)

After hundreds of games, goals and memorable moments, the 2017 MLS season will conclude in the same way it did last year: With Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders facing off in MLS Cup at BMO Field.

Seattle got the better of Toronto in last year’s final. The Sounders completed their incredible run to the 2016 playoffs with a memorable win at BMO, outlasting TFC in a penalty kick shootout despite failing to register a single shot on goal in regulation or extra time to lift their first MLS Cup.

This year, Toronto are out for revenge. If they get it, they’ll make MLS history. With a win, TFC would become the first MLS team to ever win the domestic treble of the Supporters’ Shield, Canadian Championship/US Open Cup and MLS Cup. Toronto already set several records in the regular season, breaking the single-season points record with 69, tying the mark for most single-season wins with 20 and finishing in the top-three all-time in points per game, goals scored and goal differential.

While they had an incredible regular season, Toronto’s road through the playoffs has been a bit bumpy. TFC tied the New York Red Bulls 2-2 on aggregate in the Eastern Conference Semifinals but advanced thanks to the away goals tiebreaker, then snuck past Columbus Crew SC by a 1-0 margin in the Eastern Conference Championship. They’ve dealt with a fair deal of controversy along the way, with star attackers Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco both missing Leg 1 against Crew SC due to suspension following a very contentious second leg against the Red Bulls.  

Giovinco will be back for Cup, and he’ll be highly motivated after being subbed off late and missing the shootout in last year’s contest. Altidore will no doubt factor in, as well, though his role could be limited due to an ankle injury that forced him off in the second half of Leg 2 against Columbus.

He’s not the only key player dealing with an injury. Sounders captain Ozzie Alonso didn’t even dress for the second leg of Seattle’s Western Conference Championship against Houston due to a quad strain, and Brad Evans missed the match with a longstanding back injury. Forward Jordan Morris returned from his hamstring injury in Leg 2 against the Dynamo, but will likely be limited to a substitute role in Cup after missing over two months with the ailment.

The Sounders have more injury issues than Toronto, but they did have a less taxing road to MLS Cup. Seattle advanced past Vancouver relatively comfortably in the Western Conference Semifinals, then blitzed the Dynamo in the Conference Championship, winning Leg 1 2-0 in Houston before throttling the Orange 3-0 at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle are significantly improved from last year, with new acquisitions Will Bruin, Victor Rodriguez, Gustav Svensson, Kelvin Leerdam, Nouhou and Harry Shipp all playing a huge role for the club and adding greatly to Seattle's overall depth and talent. Oh, Clint Dempsey’s back, too. The US legend has three goals in three games this postseason after he missed the 2016 playoffs due to an irregular heartbeat.

They’ll need all of them at their best if they want to upset Toronto for the second straight year. Led by Giovinco, Altidore and captain Michael Bradley, the Reds have a better roster than they did last year, too, with excellent attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez and first-year starting goalkeeper Alex Bono now in the mix.

With the sheer amount of talent on the field, the passion in the stands at a packed BMO and huge stakes at play, the Toronto-Seattle rematch promises to be at least as compelling as last year’s memorable MLS Cup.

Toronto FC

  • Suspended: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury report: QUESTIONABLE: F Jozy Altidore (ankle)

Projected Starting Lineup
(3-5-2, left to right)
GK: Alex Bono – Chris Mavinga, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta – Justin Morrow, Marky Delgado, Michael Bradley, Victor Vazquez, Steven Beitashour – Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore

Seattle Sounders

  • Suspended: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury report: OUT: D Brad Evans (back), M Ozzie Alonso (quad strain)

Projected Starting Lineup
(4-2-3-1, left to right)
GK: Stefan Frei – Nouhou, Chad Marshall, Roman Torres, Kelvin Leerdam – Gustav Svensson, Cristian Roldan – Joevin Jones, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro – Will Bruin

All-Time Series

We all remember the lone playoff meeting between TFC and the Sounders. Seattle rolled into BMO Field last year and upset Toronto in MLS Cup, outlasting the Reds in a shootout following a scoreless draw on the frozen shores of Lake Ontario.

Toronto won the only meeting between the sides this year, beating the Sounders 1-0 at CenturyLink Field on May 6.

  • Overall (regular season): Toronto 3 wins (11 goals), Seattle 7 wins (18 goals), 2 draws
  • At Toronto (regular season): Toronto 1 win (4 goals), Seattle 3 wins (6 goals), 1 draw

Referees

Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Kevin Stott
5th Official: Jason White
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Dave Gantar
Read More

Current Form

Toronto FC
Seattle

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Toronto FCSeattle Sounders FC
38Games Played38
22Wins17
6Losses9
10Draws12
77Goals59
39Goals Conceded39
378Shots419
178Shots on Target169
403Fouls committed364
418Fouls suffered516
60Offside76
164Corners202

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
TOR591176772
SEA913583591.6
01234+Avg
TOR235452.4
SEA272621.9
01234+Avg
TOR366311.6
SEA763211.2

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
TOR1512821391
SEA179741391
01234+Avg
TOR1053010.8
SEA1160200.6
01234+Avg
TOR575201.2
SEA637211.4
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