Competition: 2016 MLS Cup Final – Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, December 10 – 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Toronto 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 14/5
Both teams deserve to be here after strong runs and both have plenty of goals in them, so we’re in for a real treat in this year’s showpiece game.
Toronto head coach Greg Vanney believes this will be the “biggest MLS Cup to date”, given the fact that two of the league’s major-market franchises are going head-to-head, and he’s probably not wrong.
Toronto have set a record during their run to the final. The Reds scored 17 goals during the playoffs, more than any other side has managed in history, so they’ll be confident of adding to that tally in Saturday’s final.
This is the first time a Canadian team has ever made the final and the Reds will now be aiming to lift the trophy on home soil in what will be a special night.
Seattle are a really dangerous opponent though and travel to Toronto off the back of one of the most incredible turnarounds this season.
Sounders fans won’t want to recall their horrendous start to the season. They sat ninth in the West at the halfway point but have managed to completely transform their fortunes and have gone on to prove themselves as one of the league’s most dangerous sides.
A 3-1 aggregate win over Colorado got the Sounders here, and they will be expecting to cause Toronto troubles given the creativity of Nicolas Lodeiro and pace of Jordan Morris in attack.
The only meeting between these sides during the regular season ended 1-1 at BMO Field but Seattle had won two in a row at BMO before that draw in July.
Toronto have no injuries or suspensions to worry about ahead of the final and so Greg Vanney can put out his strongest possible team for this crunch tie.
Seattle remain without Clint Dempsey, who has been out for a long time with an irregular heartbeat, while Oalex Anderson is listed as ‘questionable’. Other than than, there are no concerns and so an unchanged lineup could be sent out at BMO Field on Saturday.
Toronto’s last five: W/W/W/L/W
Seattle’s last five: W/W/L/W/W
Key Stat: Goal-fest – There have been 15 goals in the last five meetings between these teams, with both sides scoring in each of those five clashes.
Key Player: Jozy Altidore – A number of talented players will be on show during Saturday’s final, but Jozy Altidore is arguably the in-form player in MLS coming into this one. He has five goals in his last seven and has played a starring role in guiding Toronto to their first ever MLS Cup Final. Playing at BMO Field will play into his hands, so expect the powerful forward to shine here.
Toronto 2-3 Seattle – Goals are expected in what will be a historic MLS Cup Final on Saturday night. Both sides have reason to be optimistic but Seattle have worked wonders to get this far and will be intent on making sure they finish the job after an incredible run to the final. Home advantage is in Toronto’s favour, but as we saw last season in Columbus, home form doesn’t always mean that much in a game of this magnitude. It could honestly go either way, but we expect to see Seattle lifting the trophy come the end of the night.