If you're one of those who is rooting for the Seattle Sounders FC in Saturday's MLS Cup because they are from Seattle, but you aren't necessarily a soccer nut, here's your primer for the championship match. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
The Sounders FC are trying to become the first professional sports team in Seattle to win back-to-back championships. The Sounders FC are also the most consistent playoff team in Seattle sports history. This is their ninth season in the league, and they have made the postseason every single year.
The Sounders FC are taking on Toronto FC for the second straight year. You read that right. The other team is called Toronto FC. No nickname. Just Toronto FC (or TFC for short).
The field isn't called a field. It's called a pitch.
If a team doesn't score, it's not called "zero." It's called "nil."
For most sports, when you look at the score graphics on the TV or online, the away team is listed first and the home team is listed second. Not in soccer. Home team first and away team second.
In last year's MLS Cup the teams played to a scoreless draw. But the Sounders FC won on a penalty kick shootout, 5-4.
There is American star power in this game. You have Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris for Seattle. For Toronto, you have Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.
Dempsey missed last year’s MLS Cup with an irregular heartbeat. In 2017, he is healthy, and he’s on fire with a team-high 12 goals this season and three more in the playoffs.
The Sounders FC haven’t allowed a goal in their last six matches going back to October 1.
The Sounders FC have only lost once in six trips to Toronto, but TFC beat the Sounders 1-0 back in May.
Toronto ran away with the league, finishing with 69 points (you get three points for a win, one point for a draw). They were 12 points better than the next best team. In fact, the top five teams in the Eastern Conference finished with more points than the top two teams in the Western Conference -- Seattle and Portland, which both ended with 53 points.
If the Sounders FC win, they would join the 1997-98 DC United, the 2006-07 Houston Dynamo, and the 2011-12 Los Angeles Galaxy as the only teams to win back-to-back MLS Cup titles.
Finally, if you're not a hardcore Sounders FC fan, don't feel like you're letting the team down. Seattle already has one of the strongest fan bases in the league. Sounders FC led MLS in average attendance from their inaugural year in 2009 through 2016. This season, they were bested by the expansion Atlanta United FC.