Sounders beat Toronto FC on penalties to win MLS Cup

Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:17am EST
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Seattle Sounders claimed their first Major League Soccer Cup by beating Toronto FC 5-4 on penalties after their title game ended 0-0 after extra-time on Saturday.

After Toronto's Justin Morrow hit the crossbar, Seattle defender Roman Torres coolly hammered home the decider as the Sounders finally celebrated victory following seven seasons of near misses.

With zero shots on goal after 120 minutes it looked as if the Sounders, who have reached the playoffs in each of their eight years in the league, would come up short yet again but found the target when it mattered most.

Brad Evans, Andreas Ivanshitz, Joevin Jones and Nicolas Lodeiro also scored in the shootout for Seattle while Sounders goalkeeper capped an evening of spectacular saves by denying Morrow and Toronto captain Michael Bradley.

Frei, who spent five seasons with TFC, returned to torment his former team mates earning MLS Cup most valuable player honors after shutting out a high-powered Toronto attack that had produced 17 goals in five playoff contests.

The Seattle keeper's biggest save, however, did not come in the shootout but deep into extra time when the Swiss dove across the net at full stretch and with his left hand tipped away a looping header from Jozy Altidore.

"It looked like it was going to go in and then all of a sudden here comes this paw and he gets a hold of it," praised Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer.

"It was a tremendous save but there were a couple of other times I thought the ball might have gone in."   Continued...

Dec 10, 2016; Toronto, Canada; The Seattle Sounders celebrates with Philip F. Anschutz Trophy after beating Toronto FC in the 2016 MLS Cup at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports