By now you already know that Seattle has done some incredible things in their playoff run and broken some records. The Rave Green finally broke their winless streak in Houston and eclipsed the ten hour mark for shutout soccer, so why will they claim their second MLS Cup title in a row? We all gave predictions prior to the win in Houston, and now we all will again for the MLS Cup final.
Why will Seattle win in Toronto?
Jacob Landsberg: I could talk about all the ways Toronto backed into the final with poor playoff performance. I could talk about how their entire second half of the season they were worse than Seattle. I could talk about how, in high pressure moments this year, their best players seem to lose their cool. I could talk about Jozy Altidore’s injury. None of that, though, is the reason. Clint Dempsey and Will Bruin have never won an MLS Cup (Deuce being on the field), and they want this one. They’ll score and they’ll win it. Oh and the rest of the team is pretty good.
Realio: 1. Better veteran leadership. 2. Every field player for Seattle is goal dangerous, the Hydra is real.
Ethan Swenson: We’re better than they are. It’s quite simple, really.
Andrew Beck: Seattle has the most valuable player in MLS. In Nico Lodeiro, they might have the best. In Clint Dempsey, the have the greatest American of all time. In Chad Marshall, they have the best MLS defender ever.
Bread: Jorstian Mordan > Seby Giovidore. Pretty simple, really.
Doug Mackar: Team defense: It’s no cliche when Stefan Frei says it’s “a total team effort” that has produced a record number of clean sheets entering the final. Seattle’s attackers are never lazy, always hustling to keep opponent’s defenders under pressure, not allowing them to build from the back on their own terms. Cristian Roldan has become an absolute monster in the midfield (apprenticeship under Ozzie Alonso will do that to you), and we all know about MLS’ best center back duo and the keeper with the star tattoo on his left hand.
Jeremiah Oshan: The Sounders are playing with kind of clarity that comes with knowing — not just believing — that they can perform on the biggest stage. While TFC is concerning themselves with petty thoughts like revenge or bigger-picture ideas like “legacy”, the Sounders know they only need to play their game, something they’ve done remarkably well over the past three months.
MLS Watercolorist: We are peaking at the right time. They are not. We are playing well and connecting well. They are trying so hard that it’s a bit much sometimes. We are coming into this game super strong. They are limping in a bit. Cristian Roldan is underrated. Michael Bradley is overrated. Also, Clint can score with orange balls or regular balls, it doesn’t matter.
Nimajneb: Nobody Expects the Spanish (well... Catalonian) Inquisition (Midfielder... same thing).
Sevenless: As another coach is fond of saying, goals change games. But when you stay disciplined and don't give any up, that's a big game changer, too. Seattle has the skill and experience to stay disciplined and not let pressure get to them or for panic to set in. They've shown an uncanny ability to exploit opposition weaknesses while limiting their exposure of their own, and to effectively adjust on the fly when necessary. That will be the edge for Seattle.
agtk: The Sounders will win because they have a better defense than Toronto, a better midfield than Toronto, a better attack than Toronto, and a better coach than Toronto. It's no mistake that every advanced stat shows the Sounders as the better team since Leerdam arrived. The home field advantage will not save Toronto; expect an early goal from Bruin or Dempsey and Toronto to become increasingly frustrated and undisciplined as the prospect of losing two home MLS Cups in a row looms.
Dave Clark: Because Brian Schmetzer believes that by empowering others the whole becomes greater.
Matlatzinca:I predict that we will win 3-1 in regulation. Mostly this will be because Roldansson will boss Vazquez/Giovinco and leave Altidore without good feeds so that Torres/Marshall can boss him in turn. And Leerdam/Jones will boss the wings. And V8R will boss Bradley and Deuce will boss everyone.
Charles Caldwell: The Sounders will win because they’re the more complete team. That, and Brian Schmetzer knows how to handle the big moments, and say the right thing to have this team ready to compete.
Brett Hightower: Seattle matches up well against the closest thing Toronto has to weaknesses on defense, particularly on the wings - in a game of teams very evenly matched on talent, these situational advantages usually become the deciding factor. The Reds also are clearly dealing with a lot of pressure, and I wouldn’t say they’re handling it well mentally. They have all the characteristics of a team trying too hard, and that usually leads to game-changing mistakes.
Jacob Sweeney-Samuelson: Toronto FC are a very good team this year. Seattle are evenly matched or better, position-by-position. I think the difference will be Deuce. In must-win matches, I’ll put my money on the team with Clint Dempsey pulling out the win, any day.