We’re doing it again, folks.
Toronto FC will face the Seattle Sounders at BMO Field for the MLS Cup on Saturday, December 9. It is a rematch of last year’s championship game, which the Sounders won on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
The final will kick off at 4 p.m. ET and be broadcast by TSN and TVA Sports in Canada and ESPN and UniMas in the USA.
Seattle defeated the Houston Dynamo with ease in the Western Conference final, with a 3-0 win at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night sealing a 5-0 aggregate scoreline.
Toronto had it tougher in the East. They overcame the Columbus Crew by a single goal over 180 minutes, with Jozy Altidore the goalscorer in the second leg on home turf.
In the conference semi-finals, Toronto beat the New York Red Bulls on away goals and the Sounders were 2-0 aggregate victors over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Seattle are a formidable team at home. They have not lost in at their own stadium, in fact, since Toronto beat them 1-0 back in May.
On the road, however, they are more of a mixed bag. Their 2-0 win over Houston in the first leg of the Western Conference final was their first away from home since August 5.
TFC will not be facing the same Seattle team as last year. The Sounders are a better team for the signings of Will Bruin, Victor Rodriguez, Gustav Svensson and Kelvin Leerdam, while Clint Dempsey is healthy again and Nouhou Tolo has been a breakout player at left-back.
They are fighting to get Jordan Morris and Osvaldo Alonso fit and in form, however, and let Nelson Valdez go last winter. The Paraguayan was a largely unsuccessful signing but played an important role in their run to a first MLS Cup last year.
The 2016 final between these two teams was notable for the freezing conditions. We may get more of the same this time; current forecasts predict a temperature that could drop below zero with two to four centimetres of snow.
Seattle did not muster a shot on target through 120 minutes in the chill but held TFC off the scoresheet thanks to a miraculous save from former Reds goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Roman Torres then scored the winning penalty after Michael Bradley and Justin Morrow had missed.