Thursday , May 6 2021

MLS Cup final: Seattle Sounders 3-1 Toronto FC – as it happened – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


You can read Tom Dart’s match reporthere.

TheSeattle Soundersare an MLS success story, setting a new standard for club ambition and supporter fervor. They won a few US Open Cups, but the grand prize eluded them for nearly a decade.

Until today, they still hadn’t scored a goal inMLSCup even though they won the trophy once. Even when the goal finally happened, it was an own goal – no matter what the statisticians say.

They were overshadowed by LAFC, which ran away with the Supporters Shield this season, but this is a club with quality. The quirks of MLS sometimes turn up some fluke champions, but the Sounders are as worthy a champion as the league has ever had.

And Seattle will be a fun place to be for the next week.

Thanks as always for following along today. See you next time.

Teammates mob Seattle Sounders defender Kelvin Leerdam, obscured at center, after his goal against Toronto FC during the second half of the MLS Cup soccer match in Seattle on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
Teammates mob Seattle Sounders defender Kelvin Leerdam, obscured at center, after his goal against Toronto FC during the second half of the MLS Cup soccer match in Seattle on Sunday, Nov. 10 , 2019. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press via AP) Photograph: Jonathan Hayward / AP

Updated

FINAL: Seattle 3-1 Toronto

The Canadian club will feel aggrieved, claiming a foul in the buildup to the first goal after dominating possession for a half and more. But they can only blame themselves for creating very little out of all that possession. It was a comfortable day for former Toronto keeper Stefan Frei apart from one superb save, and Toronto simply capitulated after conceding the goal.

Then a superb finish from Victor Rodriguez gave Toronto an even longer path back. Then Toronto made the fatal mistake of letting Ruidiaz sneak past them.

For the second time in four years, the Sounders areMLSchampions.

GOAL! Seattle 3-1 Toronto (Altidore 90 3)

A cross, a header from the spot, and you have to wonder if he could’ve made a difference had he been fully healthy.

GOAL! Seattle 3-0 Toronto (Ruidiaz 90)

Well, that’ll do it. After an injury brings action to a fault for an eternity, Toronto make an absolute mess of things, letting Ruidiaz take the ball off a defender for a breakaway and a chip.

The defender was Mavinga, who has had a simply awful game.

87 min:The second-best chance of the game for Toronto, as a ball is lobbed into defender-turned-forward Omar Gonzalez, who collides with Frei and sandwiches a defender in the process.

ABC informs us that the first Seattle goal has been credited to Leerdam. The commentators disagree, as anyone who was actually watching. The ball was going well wide until it hit Morrow.

85 min:Jordy Delem is now replacing Seattle-born Jordan Morris, who gives a hug to a teammate and strides off the field with the speed of an electric car whose battery has run down to zero.

83 min:Same thing now from Toronto that we saw all game. Possession. Nothing resembling a chance. Toronto have only had one half-decent chance all game, the shot by the since-withdrawn Benezet in the first half.

80 min:Good attack from Seattle, but the AR’s flag stops it.

Toronto have managed nothing at all for a long time.

Here’s the goal that may clinch it:

Seattle Sounders FC(@ SoundersFC)

LET’S GOOO!

Víctor Rodríguez makes it 2-0!

SEA 2 | TOR 0# SEAvTOR| # MLSCuppic.twitter.com/osEQ7q0Lwf

(November) , 2019

78 min:How do you get instructions to your captain in a loud stadium? Send a note with your substitute. Richie Laryea enters for Toronto and hands a piece of paper to Michael Bradley while the ball goes around them, in play.

GOAL! Seattle 2-0 Toronto (Rodriguez 75)

Let’s give credit to referee Allen Chapmen here for a second. Toronto clearly fouled Lodeiro as he was laying the ball off to Rodriguez. The ref let play continue, and Rodriguez ripped the ball to the lower right corner from the top of the box.

Updated

75 min:Seattle didn’t commit many numbers forward on that corner, but they’ve managed to maintain possession .

Mavinga hobbles back on, but Toronto are preparing another substitution.

74 min:Toronto haven’t recovered from surrendering the goal. They may be forced into another substitution, with Mavinga limping off just as Seattle take the corner.

Altidore enters

68 min:Jozy Altidorescored against Spainin the 2009 Confederations Cup when the USA pulled off a hi storic upset. Since then, he has been alternately cheered and vilified by U.S. supporters.

He’s on now for Toronto, to a chorus of boos.

But Seattle remain on the front foot and force a save from Westberg.

Updated

67 min:Lodeiro and Morris combine on Seattle’s right flank and think they’ve won yet another corner for the Sounders. They have not.

65 min:Attendance announcement: 69, 274 fans have packed the stadium. Most of them are quite happy right now but will be fretting as Toronto’s attack gets more dangerous.

Jozy Altidore is tying his shoes. And still tying them. That’s a long camera shot of someone tying his shoes.

64 min:Now Toronto must press forward and leave some holes at the back. Frei finds himself under pressure with the ball at his feet before passing to the only defender in sight.

62 min:Toronto introduce Nick DeLeon, whose superb goal knocked out Atlanta United in the semifinals.

Tsubasa Endoh is the player to depart.

Updated (at 4.) PM EST

60 min:Seattle’s Victor Rodriguez, once on Barcelona’s books and a La Liga veteran, goes into the game to replace fullback Brad Smith, which seems a touch odd.

GOAL: Seattle 1-0 Toronto (own goal 58)

That was unusual.

We did mention before the game that Kelvin Leerdam was good at getting forward down the right flank. He finds some space in the box and fires. It hits the unfortunate Justin Morrow and promptly nestles in the lower left corner.

In their sixth half of action against Toronto inMLSCups, the Sounders have finally scored, even if it took a Toronto defender to do it.

Updated

56 min:Same as the first half – a lot of Toronto possession with no incisive play to make it matter.

Toronto FC fans cheer Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, at the MLS Cup championship soccer match between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Toronto FC fans cheer Sunday, Nov. 10 , 2019, at the MLS Cup championship soccer match between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC in Seattle. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson) Photograph: Elaine Thompson / AP

54 min:A new approach for Toronto, eschewing the flanks to let Pozuelo beat 6-7 Seattle players before his final pass is played out to safety.

53 min:They ‘re getting snarky in Canada … ************

Steven Sandor(@ stevensandor)

So when do the Sounders replace the needle on their logo with a parked bus?

(November) , 2019

51 min:And Benezet will surely maintain his lead in that mysterious Player Index after taking a hard shot from his preferred spot at the upper right corner of the box (from Stefan Frei’s perspective). Another solid block from the green wall.

50 min:Toronto’s Benezet has just claimed the lead from Seattle’s Torres in the MLS stat breakdown called the (Audi Player Index) . Is any bonus money at stake there?

49 min:Jordan Morris has switched sides to the right, which may not be for the best if he can’t do more with it at the end of one of his runs than he did there. Promising run but obvious discomfort as he tried to figure out what to do next.

48 min:A nice Toronto attack, and the ball is laid back to Delgado, whose shot is well-blocked.

47 min:Seattle doing something it didn’t do through the entire first half – maintain possession. It’s in their own half, but it’s something.

(Stats) favoring Toronto: 83% pass completion , 65 .1% possession edge

Stats favoring Seattle: 8-2 corners

The Seattle PA is featuring another Seattle musician – Jimi Hendrix.

Halftime: Seattle 0-0 Toronto

Terrific pressure from Toronto, but aside from forcing one terrific save from Frei, they haven’t done much with it. Seattle look dangerous going the other way but just can’t keep the ball.

45 min: CHANCEand as I type that, Ruidiaz nicks the ball away from Omar Gonzalez and forces Westberg into a point-blank save.

Toronto have had the better of play, but Seattle has had as much of a chance of scoring as the visitors.

45 min:As we’ve been reminded many times now, Seattle have yet to score against Toronto in all these (MLS) Cups. The Sounders lifted the trophy in penalties once but have not yet done anything in regulation.

41 min:Lodeiro neatly plays the ball away from danger with his stomach, which is especially impressive considering the ball was under him. Looked like a pilates class for a moment.

Here’s why we’re scoreless …

Seattle Sounders FC(@ SoundersFC)

Stef’s save keeps it scoreless! ***# SoundersMatchday| # MLSCuppic.twitter.com/iyiEg7XWZK

November 10, 2019

40 min:Now Seattle are defending for their lives. Multiple lunging tackles just to get the ball out of immediate danger and into slightly less immediate danger.

39 min:Toronto with some possession that would be threatening if the Sounders hadn’t put most of their team and probably a few players from the Seattle Seahawks in their own box. Quite a few bodies back there, neatly camouflaged against the green field.

36 min: CHANCE, and it’s a stellar save by Frei, who quickly sprawls to his left to paw away a well-driven low shot by Benezet. Kim clears it from there.

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