Toronto FC are MLS Cup champions, treble winners and - surely - the greatest team in this league’s history.
Jozy Altidore and Victor Vazquez scored in the second half on Saturday evening to seal a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders and complete the perfect season, starting a wild party at BMO Field.
This time, Toronto left no room for doubt, for extra time, for penalties. They controlled this game from start to finish, leaving one of their best performances of a remarkable season until last.
Greg Vanney sprung a selection surprise by ditching Toronto’s usual 3-5-2 for the 4-4-2 diamond they have increasingly leaned on over the past couple of months. That meant both Jonathan Osorio and Marky Delgado starting in midfield and Eriq Zavaleta dropping to the bench.
It worked a treat. Their dominance was almost immediate, with Drew Moor heading over the crossbar when he should have scored from a corner.
After Giovinco had clipped a shot just wide, the Frei show began. The former Toronto goalkeeper denied excellent strikes sent his way by Vazquez, Jonathan Osorio and Marky Delgado before palming another Giovinco effort over the bar.
Oso comes very close to putting TFC up, but guess who was there..... pic.twitter.com/ghiiaeMfp1— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) December 9, 2017
Frei is unbelievable. #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/XDFAZwIQXt— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) December 9, 2017
Seattle offered very little in return, but did finally end their run without a shot on goal in this fixture when Joevin Jones flipped a tame effort straight at Alex Bono.
Toronto’s best chance followed after half-time. After Delgado had won the ball back on the right, a string of passes across the edge of the area ended with Giovinco forcing Frei into another superb save.
But then, finally, the breakthrough.
For all TFC’s dominance of possession, it was a counter-attack that did it. Vazquez found a passage through to Giovinco and the Italian drew Chad Marshall towards him to set Altidore away.
His left-footed finish past Frei took the roof off BMO Field.
COUNTER ATTACK OF DREAMS. WE FINALLY HAVE AN MLS CUP FINAL GOAL pic.twitter.com/MZsWkys98K— Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) December 9, 2017
TFC’s pressure continued for a short period before, inevitably, they battened down the hatches.
Nick Hagglund and Armando Cooper were brought on and Bono was finally called into action, beating Clint Dempsey to one ball that dropped in the box and swallowing an ambitions diving header.
This was to be Toronto’s night. And when Giovinco played through Cooper only for his shot to crash off the post, Vazquez was on hand to tap in the rebound.