Home MLS Toronto FC Toronto FC caps most dominant season in MLS history

Toronto FC caps most dominant season in MLS history


In MLS, history tells us that teams that finish first overall don’t go on to win MLS Cup. Teams that lose MLS Cup the year previous don’t come back to win.

So much for that wisdom. With an absolutely dominant effort in Saturday’s MLS Cup game, Toronto FC became the first team in league history to celebrate a domestic treble. They capped off what has to be seen as the most dominant season any team has achieved so far in MLS history.

Based on the run of play, the chances created, the scoreline should have been far more severe than 2-0. Really, 6-0 or 7-0 would have been fair. But, with a year to think about last season’s penalty-kicks loss to Seattle, Toronto FC was able to slay the Sounders, including keeper Stefan Frei, who could easily have been voted the game’s Man of the Match in a losing effort.

After Frei repelled a legion of TFC efforts, he was finally beaten in minute 66; as we;d seen throughout the game, the Reds played the ball with lightning quickness through the midfield, and Sebastian Giovinco sent Jozy Altidore in on goal with pass that shattered the Sounders high line at the back.

Frei charged at Altidore, and the TFC striker touched the ball with his right, the lifted the ball over the keeper with his left. There’s no point in describing this goal in any greater length. You will see it replayed over and over and over.

Meanwhile, at the other end, TFC keeper Alex Bono could have jumped in the stands and watched the game with the supporters. Even when down a goal, a toothless Seattle team did little to threaten to Toronto goal. Actually, the Sounders’ attempts on goal were limited to a Joevin Jones cross that was credited as a shot on goal, and a Clint Dempsey grass-cutter that an Atom-level goalie would be expected to stop with ease.

Just before the end, TFC got its second goal, with Victor Vazquez steering the ball into an empty net after an Armando Cooper shot banged off the post.

Then, the celebration was on, and it will likely continue through the weekend.

But, without Frei, the hero of last year’s MLS Cup, Toronto could have started the party about an hour earlier. He was absolutely magnificent again — and, when the teams went to half 0-0, you had to wonder if the former TFC keeper would find a way to steal his team another title.

Frei made a diving stop to deny Jonathan Osorio; he and defender Chad Marshall got together to deflect a shot from Giovinco just wide. He made a leaping stop on a Giovinco effort that had caught the keeper wrong-footed. He dove to rob Vazquez.

And, in the second half, before Altidore finally killed the wicked witch, Frei made a hellacious diving stop on Giovinco.

In the end, Frei could not stop the TFC machine. And, Toronto finally has its first MLS title. Tonight, a lot of people who have been there throughout the last decade will tell stories of the chokes, the last-second goals yielded, the comedic management that once plagued this franchise. But, finally, they’ll be able to think back to those times and laugh. They’ll know that those demons and are now truly exorcised.

Toronto FC didn’t just seize MLS Cup. The team ripped it away from its competition. The Reds ran away with it. They won everything you could put in front of them. Guess it’s CONCACAF Champions League or bust next year, right?

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  1. italk2u

    December 10, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Anyone notice the huge sigh of indifference across the rest of the country.?

  2. Ollie

    December 10, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Amazing what you can do with the highest player salary in the league, more than double most others. The MLS ( read USSF)is a blight on North American soccer as far as I’m concerned!

  3. Ralph

    December 9, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    This makes up for that year where only needing a draw to make the playoffs against the DEAD LAST NYRB they went into Giants Stadium and lost 5 to nil.

    Here’s hoping it lights a fire in the GTA (not literally) under the soccer community and media so more kids are inspired to take up the game.

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