TORONTO – Roman Torres scored in the sixth round of penalty kicks to give the Seattle Sounders their first MLS Cup title, 5-4 over Toronto FC after 120 scoreless minutes Saturday night.
It was the first MLS Cup final to fail to produce a goal in regulation, setting the stage for a dramatic tiebreaker.
While Toronto's Michael Bradley and Alvaro Fernandez for Seattle had both seen their shots saved, the game went to sudden-death spot kicks. Toronto's Justin Morrow could only clatter his shot off the crossbar, setting the stage for Torres to win it with a high shot down the middle of the goal.
“You need a little bit of luck,” Sounders' Stefan Frei said. “Let’s face it, PKs are not the prettiest thing to decide a game, and actually Roman missed a penalty in training yesterday. I’m glad he missed yesterday and not today.”
Seattle became the first team in MLS Cup final history to fail to produce a shot on target throughout the game. Additionally, the Sounders’ three shots overall were the fewest in an MLS title game, the first to feature two expansion franchises. Toronto was the first Canadian MLS Cup finalist.
For Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer, who took over from Sigi Schmid on July 26 with Seattle in ninth place in the Western Conference, the turnaround was complete. Posting an 8-2-4 record since then, Seattle became the first team in MLS history to make the playoffs after having 20 or fewer points through the season’s first 20 matches.
“Some people say defense wins championships,” he said. “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 that he needed to make.”