On Dec. 9 2017, Toronto FC avenged last year’s MLS Cup loss and beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0 to win the 2017 MLS Cup.
With the help of MLS coach of the Greg Vanney, Toronto FC became the first club in MLS history to win the Domestic treble: the MLS Cup, the Canadian Championship and the Supporters Shield.
The club that was once called “the worst club in MLS” a few years ago has now proved to be arguably the best club in MLS history.
Straight from kick off at BMO field, Toronto looked very lively and hungry for vengeance. The whole team looked incredibly solid on the field while Seattle looked shambolic and disconnected.
Toronto was constantly running through Seattle’s midfield and put pressure on the defence constantly. Within the first 10 minutes, Toronto had already recorded two shots on goal, with Sebastian Giovinco coming close to scoring in the 10th minute.
Giovinco proved to be vital to this game, creating many chances and coming close to scoring plenty of times during the first-half.
Coach Greg Vanney changed the lineup for this game, returning to a 4-4-2 diamond formation instead of the previous 3-5-2. This move had been met with some skepticism, especially since the team had played with the 3-5-2 formation for the majority of the 2017 MLS season. In the end, this formation change benefitted Toronto immensely, as the team dominated possession throughout the game. Toronto’s dominance was shown at half-time as there was barely any stoppage time added. The score was 0-0 after the first-half.
At the start of the second-half, Toronto still had the same intensity and still dominated Seattle. Giovinco once again had another close chance of scoring in minute 63, but Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei denied his shot with a fantastic diving save.
For the first hour, Frei was a brick wall between the sticks. He was very dominant, making several key saves for Seattle, making it very difficult for Toronto to score.
But in minute 67, Frei was broken down as Jozy Altidore scored on the counter attack, passing Frei with ease and slotting it in the back of the net. After the goal Seattle’s defence struggled to withstand Toronto’s attack.
The second goal came in stoppage time as Victor Vázquez calmly placed in a deflected shot to solidify Toronto’s lead in minute 93. The game ended 2-0 and Toronto avenged their MLS Cup final loss from the previous year, causing BMO field to erupt with joy.
What Greg Vanney has done with this team is incredible. From being one of the worst teams in MLS not too long ago to now being called the best team in MLS history, the team has certainly come a long way.
With the likes of Justin Morrow, Steven Beitashour and Victor Vázquez, the team has been rejuvenated into a well-oiled machine that is unstoppable.
Vanney has also proven why he is the best coach in MLS this season and how vital a manager is to a team like Toronto FC.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org