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A look at the Sounders, Toronto series history

This will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two clubs.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC will meet for the second time in 2016 for MLS Cup on Dec. 10th at BMO Field in Toronto. Since Seattle joined MLS in 2009, the two have played each other 11 times and Seattle holds the advantage over the Reds 7-2-2 (win-loss-tie). The Sounders recorded their first ever MLS road victory against Toronto way back on Apr. 4, 2009. In total, there have been 28 goals scored with 20 of those in favor of the Sounders.

I could bore you and break down the last eight years of these games but I won’t. What I am going to do is break down the three games from the past three years (2014-2016). That is when Michael Bradley and Greg Vanney both joined Toronto.

2014 — Sounders 1, Toronto 2

This was the just the second game of the 2014 season that would eventually see the Sounders win their first ever Supporters’ Shield. After opening the season with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City, the Sounders welcomed Toronto to CenturyLink Field.

This would be the first time that Seattle would face the Bradley-Vanney led Toronto. Things did not start well for the Sounders. In the 17th min, Jermain Defoe received a through ball from Jonathan Osorio that left the Englishman one on one with Stefan Frei. Defoe fired his shot from roughly 16 yards out that easily beat Frei.

Seven minutes later, things went from bad to worse. After a bad back pass from Marco Pappa, Jermain Defoe pounced on the ball and fired an uncontested shot past 20 yards from goal that was able to sneak inside the right post to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.

The Sounders would get one back in the 67th minute after numerous chances that they were unable to capitalize one. After Lamar Neagle won a ball at midfield, he fed a pass to Obafemi Martins who was charging down the left side of the pitch. Clint Dempsey was sitting at the top of the penalty box and was found by the Nigerian. Dempsey calmly and coolly slotted his shot to the near post to bring the Sounders back into the game.

2015 — Sounders 2, Toronto 1

It would be another 18 months before these two teams would face each other again. Once again, the game was played in Seattle.

This time around, it was the Sounders who would be the first to strike. Dempsey this time returned the favor to Martins. Dempsey found a streaking Martins, who was able to beat an offside trap from Toronto, by chipping it over the defense. Martins was able to easily score the goal to give Seattle an early 1-0 lead.

Toronto equalized in the 59th minute when Ashtone Morgan sent in a cross that fell to a wide-open Eriq Zavaleta. He was able to easily head the ball into the back of the net for his first ever MLS goal.

When it looked as if Toronto may leave with a vital road point, the Sounders took back the lead in the 77th minute. Dempsey once again fed Martins the ball and he was able to streak past the defense. A heavy touch by Martins saw the ball in TFC goalkeeper Chris Konopka’s hands but he was unable to control it. Dempsey was there to follow up and put the ball into the open net.

The Sounders faced a Toronto team that didn’t have the services of Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, Collen Warner, Benoit Cheyrou and Justin Morrow. All five missed the game for various reasons but a win is a win.

2016 — Toronto 1, Sounders 1

Three weeks before the Brian Schmetzer era would begin in Seattle, the Sounders would travel to BMO Field for the first time since 2013.

The first goal of the game wouldn’t come until 60th minute when Jordan Hamilton put the home team in front 1-0. Tsubasa Endou put Giovinco through on a ball over the top of the defense. Frei came out and made the initial save on Giovinco’s shot but the ball fell to the middle of the penalty area. Jordan Hamilton was the first to it and easily finished his chance to put Toronto up 1-0.

Just as it seemed it was about to be the same ole Sounders, Jordan Morris leveled the score for Seattle. The Sounders would take the ensuing kickoff and almost immediately be in Toronto’s final third. As Joevin Jones made his way to midfield, he played a lovely through ball to Morris. The pass was put in the best spot possible as it split the two defenders trying to cover Morris.

After settling the ball and making a turn in the box, Morris took a touch with his right foot to create more space and fired a lovely, curling shot to the far post that easily beat goalkeeper Alex Bono. It took an entire 67 seconds for the Sounders to level the score. The Sounders were very lucky to leave Toronto with one point as the home team failed to capitalize on numerous chances.

These are two completely different teams heading into MLS Cup this weekend. The Sounders are clearly better this time around then the last time they visited BMO Field. Including that game, and the playoffs, the Sounders are 12-6-5 while Toronto is 13-4-7.

This game will be the first time that the Sounders will face a fully loaded Toronto team with Bradley, Altidore and Giovinco in the mix. Two teams at their best should be a fun game to watch.

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