Toronto FC were poised to make history as arguably the greatest team in Major League Soccer history, but a sour own goal and a late-game collapse led the team to a 3-1 defeat to the Seattle Sounders.
This is the third time in four years the two clubs have met in the final and now Seattle has the advantage with their second trophy compared to Toronto’s single MLS Cup back in 2017.
The match was scoreless until the 57th minute, when a shot from the Sounders’ Kelvin Leerdam ricocheted off TFC defender Justin Morrow and give the home team their 1-0 lead.
The #Sounders finally score a goal in #MLSCup in their third final....and it's an own goal. Leerdam's shot hits off Morrow and wrong-foots Westberg. Against the run of play, Seattle lead 1-0.#SEAvTOR pic.twitter.com/5cX86JlHff— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) November 10, 2019
An unfortunate bounce for a Toronto team that appeared to be in control of most of the match. The Reds finished with 65 percent of possession and almost double the amount of completed passes that Seattle could muster.
This goal —which was given to Leerdam in the end — was clearly the breaking point after Toronto had the majority of the opportunities beforehand and just could not get the lead.
One highlight from the first hour of the match came from none other than Alexander Pozuelo.
The Spaniard’s undying effort to retain the ball was mesmerizing but not enough to seal a victory for TFC on Sunday afternoon.
After the opening goal for Seattle, the hypothetical dam broke and the new champions were able to score two more goals in quick succession, including one stunner from Victor Rodríguez.
A well placed shot to seal the result in the 76th minute was all Seattle needed to ease their minds and keep the focus on how they should pose with their new trophy.
Down 3-0, Toronto was eventually able to get one back in the dying moments of their 2019 season.
After an unfortunate injury in Toronto’s final regular season game, star forward Jozy Altidore had to miss nearly the entire playoffs. The American was subbed on in the 68th minute and was able to wipe away the clean sheet for Seattle in the 92nd.
TFC’s loss in the final caps off the team’s rather unexpected post-season run. In the two playoff matches before the final, Toronto had the worse regular season record compared to their opponents and came out with a 2-1 victory in both games.
If they were able to finish the season with a win and another trophy, TFC had potential to be considered the greatest team in MLS history. Overcoming incredible odds, the club could have become only the fifth to win more than a single MLS Cup in league history.
Even in the middle of some re-tooling — selling Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vasquez — Toronto FC was able to make another final due to their ability to grind their opponents down.
Unfortunately for them, Seattle had luck on their side on Saturday.
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