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Sounders win MLS Cup: Highlights, stats, and quotes

“I think it is going to take a while for it to sink in. What I do know are the words that I can come up with; I’m awfully proud of those guys.” -Brian Schmetzer

We are the champions!


Seattle Sounders FC 0 (5) - Toronto FC 0 (4)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Venue: BMO Field

Referee: Alan Kelly

Assistants: Frank Anderson, Joe Fletcher

Fourth Official: Allen Chapman

Fifth Official: Danny Thornberry

Attendance: 36,045

Weather: Clear and 26 degrees




TOR - Jozy Altidore - scored

SEA - Brad Evans - scored

TOR - Michael Bradley - saved

SEA - Andreas Ivanschitz - scored

TOR - Benoit Cheyrou - scored

SEA - Alvaro Fernandez - saved

TOR - Will Johnson - scored

SEA - Joevin Jones - scored

TOR - Drew Moor - scored

SEA - Nico Lodeiro - scored

TOR - Justin Morrow - missed

SEA - Román Torres - scored


SEA - Chad Marshall (caution) 45'+1'

SEA - Joevin Jones (caution) 72'

TOR - Michael Bradley (caution) 90'+3'


Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Román Torres, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Nico Lodeiro, Erik Friberg (Alvaro Fernandez 67') Jordan Morris (Brad Evans 108'), Nelson Valdez (Andreas Ivanschitz 73')

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Herculez Gomez, Oniel Fisher, Zach Scott

Total shots: 3 (3 players, 1)

Shots on goal: 0

Fouls: 19 (Alonso, 5)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 5 (Lodeiro, 3)

Saves: 7 (Frei, 7)

Toronto FC - Clint Irwin; Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund; Michael Bradley - captain, Jonathan Osorio (Will Johnson 77'), Armando Cooper (Benoit Cheyrou 85'), Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow; Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco (Tosaint Ricketts 104')

Substitutes not used: Alexander Bono, Josh Williams, Mark Bloom, Tsubasa Endoh

Total shots: 19 (Giovinco, 6)

Shots on goal: 7 (Altidore, 3)

Fouls: 21 (Cooper, 4)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 10 (Bradley/Giovinco, 5)

Saves: 0



On being able to put winning MLS Cup into words:

“I think it is going to take a while for it to sink in. What I do know are the words that I can come up with; I’m awfully proud of those guys, they are obviously very happy in that locker room. I’m very happy for the traveling support. I’m happy for the fans that couldn’t make the trip out here and see the game live. I’m sure there were a tonne of people watching in some of the bars that were viewing the game. I’m proud, I’m happy, I’m thankful for the opportunity that Adrian [Hanauer] and Joe [Roth] gave me. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure that in another ten years from now I’ll be able to really reflect and make sure that I really soak this in, it was a tremendous moment and one that may never come around again.”

On Roman Torres scoring the game-winning penalty kick:

“Some people say that defense wins championships. Roman had a tremendous performance. I think his running mates Chad [Marshall], Ozzy [Alonso], Cristian [Roldan], marshalling in front of those guys. Jozy [Altidore] and [Sebastian] Giovinco are tremendous players. They really put a lot of pressure on us especially early on. The first 10 minutes they could have scored. You couple Roman’s performance with Stefan Frei, who came up massive with that one save and then in the penalty kick shootout made the save he needed to make. I was very pleased for Roman although he will tell you if you ask him that he was a forward when he was growing up. We don’t know if we believe that story but he swears he was a forward when he was growing up in Panama.”

On the team coming together over the season:

“They have been resilient for a long time. If my memory serves me correct, guys like Zach Scott, guys like Brad [Evans], guys like Ozzy [Osvaldo Alonso] are all pretty resilient. I think at the beginning of this year when we started out in preseason we knew we had a good team, a veteran team and the reasons for the slow start, we can pick that apart, I think the base was always there. They found a way to win, a way to persevere in tough situations. Guys like Ozzy are a part of that. His determination on a half a leg, he has a pulled tendon in his knee, is just a testament to how much Ozzy wants to win. I can’t be any more proud or happy that he is in our club.”


On the save on Jozy Altidore:

“Well done by Jozy trying to go against from the side I’m coming from. Obviously it’s probably exactly how he wanted to hit that one. Sometimes as a goalkeeper you feel like you’re not going to get to the ball but you never know until you try. I try to keep my feet moving and give it my best shot. Luckily I was able to get there. I’ve got to give all the credit to my 'keeper coach and my fellow 'keepers. They’ve been working their butts off all year and I think that save is an accumulation of that hard work that we’ve put in as a 'keeper unit.”

On winning MLS Cup in Toronto:

“I started my career here and it was tough performance-wise, on the field. I was fortunate to be able to play early on which is important as a goalkeeper but I think you play to win and obviously during my team here we had limited success so it made it difficult. Throughout that time, the fans were always the highlight, the fans were always very, very supportive and I think that’s helped TFC transition and finally find some success, the way they’ve stuck with the team throughout these years. But in the end, to be honest with you, I’m focused on my situation now, I’m in Seattle and this final could have happened anywhere. We had a chance to make history and this is what you live for.”


On the season and winning MLS Cup:

“It’s been unbelievable, I’ve said that over in all the interviews, I just say it’s been unbelievable because as a kid, growing up, you could never really dream of that happening. But again, all credit to my teammates, my teammates at Stanford when we were there was family and then we won that championship as a team. Then to come into here, we won as a team as well. We had a lot of ups-and-downs, and this year a lot of people counted us out, a lot of people were counting us out before this game started. All credit to Toronto, they are a very, very good team and made it really, really tough on us but the result was as a team. All year the ability to fight for 90 minutes, 120 minutes this game and then ultimately to win it in PKs, it’s just the mindset of this team that we have and credit to coach [Schmetzer]. It’s just a team win, it was awesome.”

On the season:

“It was a tough first half of the season but the guys always believed. The belief was always there in the locker room. We pushed out the outside noise and at the time we had some games in hand, we knew that if we took care of those we would be right back in business and then once we made in the playoffs, in the MLS it’s a whole new season once you get into the playoffs, so we knew that. Our mentality was that just we got to get into the playoffs and we did that and then kind of got hot at the right time and you see that a lot in the MLS where teams get hot at the right time and then go on to win. This team has a great mentality and I think showed that tonight.”


On the match:

“A couple injuries, but at the end of the day we won so we are a little bit happier than Toronto. You know for them they played really well, I thought they dominated us to be honest and for us to stick to our game plan and obviously fight through everything it just a characteristic of our team that we have.”

On the Stefan Frei save in extra time:

“It was probably one of the top ones for sure. You know that guy deserves it more than anybody else, for us to always rely on him is incredible. He’s a great goalkeeper and a better human and for us to have him on our field and saving our butts day in and day out we couldn’t be happier for him and the city.”


On the match and the final result:

“I think it was a hard-fought game by two teams that didn’t want to give an inch. We didn’t have the greatest flow, but it’s a final – sometimes that happens. I thought, it’s easy to say but we had all the chances. A lot of half-looks, a lot of chances, a lot of opportunities, we just couldn’t get it on frame. One little window, one pass away and with Frei makes a couple of big saves that really keep them in it. Credit to them and congratulations to them really because they came into a tough place, held strong and congratulations to Seattle.”

On sitting on the sidelines as a coach during penalty kicks:

“In all honesty when it comes down to penalty kicks I was a little bit numb at that point and was just trying to get the guys into a position where they can relax and be confident, step up, hit the ball where they felt like they could hit it in the moment, be calm and pick their spot. But by that time the game was gone in a sense. I was in a position where I was disappointed with penalty kicks, such a hard-fought season and this game in particular, for it to end in penalty kicks it is just not the way you want to finish a game like that. Disappointed and I’m sure I’ll break down at some point but at this moment I am just numb.”

On taking Sebastian Giovinco off for a substitute:

“He couldn’t move, it’s not like I take him off because I want to. I look at him and he gives me the sign that he can’t go anymore and when he feels like he can’t go he feels like more of a liability to the team than anything, so that decision is not one that I generally want to make.”

On what reaching MLS Cup says about the club:

“I’m incredibly proud of this group. From where we were last year to what I think was a lot of adversary through the course of this year the group grew together and overcame a lot of challenging moment and grew from them. We got ourselves into the playoffs for a second time and I thought we really played in the playoffs like a team that really wanted to win a championship. We put away a lot of goals over the course of a handful of games and defending hard, worked hard as a group and there are a lot of lessons to take away from this run that I think will only make us better going into next year and stronger as a group as we try to get back to this and come away winners. This is a group that has grown incredibly over the last two years and I know that their heads are down now but they will come back fighting during the preseason.”

On the makeup of the team for next season:

“One of our key moves in the last year was picking up designated players that are in their prime not players that are at the end of their game. We can build and work around those guys as a foundation. Over the last offseason we’ve been able to add pieces to grow and be stronger on the defensive side, it gave us more depth. We have some young players coming through. Obviously this offseason we’ll look to make one, two, three moves at most to give the team some depth with some young guys, they can get through the draft and through the academy we’re going to build up the score and keep getting stronger. That is our objective, we’re just getting started.”


On how difficult the moment is:

“It’s tough obviously, we put a lot into it. I thought we played a good game. They had zero shots on goal but credit to them. They have been at it for a while. Congratulations to them.”

On the Stefan Frei save:

“It was a hell of a save. At the end of the day you need to pull off something special. We just weren't able to. He made a great save. At that point penalties is a game of luck. It’s obviously a tough night.”

On appreciating what the team accomplished:

“I already appreciate it. I said to the guys after that I am proud of everybody. You put a lot into it this year. We got a taste of what it’s like. To be a club in MLS that competes for trophies. So know it’s all about bottling up this feeling. Getting back in January and getting ready for another long season and hopefully we get head to being in this position again. To win obviously.”

On the TFC players who missed in the penalty shootout:

“Anybody can miss. That is the tough part of sports. Michael [Bradley] and Justin [Morrow] had great seasons. We turn the page now. It’s a long turn the page. It’s a long wait. But it’s all about bottling this feeling and trying to get ready for next year and trying to get to this spot again.”

On the match:

“We were the better team but at the same time Seattle’s game plan was pretty spectacular. They just absorbed pressure and try to stay in the game as long as they could. Credit to them they did. We just weren’t able to find a way. I thought maybe the middle of the park could have been a little bit better in terms of creating more clear cut chances but that’s football at the end of the day.”


On whether the save on the Jozy Altidore shot made it feel like it was TFC's day:

“We didn't think like that. It's not the proper way to think. We tried to stay positive. The ball was not going in today.”

On appreciating the season TFC had:

“It’s going to take some time. Obviously it’s tough to swallow this one. I don’t know how long it will take. You look back and it was a really good season. It was a season that we deserved. We deserved to be champions. But unfortunately in sports it’s not how it works all the time. We just need to keep going forward. When you are the most down is when you have to rally and show your character. That’s how true champions will succeed in life.”

On the team going forward:

“This team will only get better from here. We know the blueprint of what we need to get to the championship and to win a championship. This is team that is capable to win a championship game. It just wasn’t our time.”

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