The Seattle Sounders finally have some MLS hardware to put alongside all those U.S. Open Cup trophies. It wasn't anything approaching a masterful performance, but the Sounders bided their time, absorbed pressure and finally got a goal in the 85th minute off the foot of substitute Marco Pappa to beat the LA Galaxy 2-0 on Saturday. Pappa added another goal just before the final whistle to close out the scoring.
Although the Sounders only needed a tie to secure the Supporters' Shield, the win adds a bit of legitimacy to the accomplishment. A tie would have meant the Sounders would have won on the tiebreaker, which is wins, not exactly the world standard.
But Pappa's well taken goal means none of that matters. The play started when Obafemi Martins was fouled and took a very fast free kick to Clint Dempsey. Martins got the ball back, made a couple moves through defenders and then found Pappa all alone on the left wing. His low hard shot beat Jaime Penedo to the far post setting off a huge explosion of sound form the 57,763 in attendance.
That goal effectively sealed the Shield, but Pappa had one more trick up his sleeve. With time running down, Pappa managed to take the ball off Penedo's foot, dribble around the goalkeeper and then chipped in his close range shot to beat the defender.
The Sounders are now just the second team in MLS history to win the Shield and U.S. Open Cup in the same year and will attempt to become the first team to win the MLS treble. They also set a franchise record with 64 points, and set the MLS record for wins in regulation (20). No matter what happens from here on out, the Sounders have secured a place in MLS history. Now, it's time really do something special.