Sounders and Reds Meeting Once Again in 2017 MLS Cup

Kevin Stott

Saturday, December 9, 2017 4:38 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 4:38 PM UTC

Toronto FC collide with Clint Dempsey and the Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders at BMO Field in Toronto on Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup in Ontario, Canada.

2017 MLS Cup FinalSeattle Sounders FC at Toronto FC, BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 4 pm EST/1 pm PST

What? Two teams in the same professional sport never meet in the Finals of that league’s Championship, unless we’re talking about the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA Finals, but that’s exactly what we have this year in the MLS, a rematch between the same two clubs playing in the exact same place they did to determine the league’s winner on a December Saturday in Toronto, this time on 9th as opposed to the 10th last year. Who says that Life isn’t a stupid algorithm?

Last year, the Eastern Division champion Toronto FC and Western Division champions Seattle were both appearing in their first MLS Cup Final, so there will be no surprises here, but maybe a special sense of urgency from the host Reds who will be seeking Revenge after losing to the Sounders last year as well as seeking to become the first MLS champs from Canada, end a run of MLS Western Division supremacy, and, justify the Record-setting season which saw TFC dominate and roll into this big 2017 MLS Cup Final at BMO Field (Grass) in Toronto on Saturday afternoon (ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes USA, Univision Deportes USA, UniMás, Univision NOW, fubo TV, Univision Deportes En Vivo (USA), TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, TSN GO, TVA Sports, (CANADA), Sky Sports Football, Sky Go UK, NOW TV UK, SKY GO Extra (UK)).

Offshore sportsbook Intertops has Sebastian Giovinco and host Toronto FC the solid Favorites (-133, Intertops) here over Seattle (+360, Intertops) in the Three-Way marketplace (Draw +240, Intertops) with the Total (Goals) set at 2½u -154 (Intertops, Over +120). The Odds To Win Outright (Lift the Trophy) see Toronto at -227 to win the MLS Cup with Clint Dempsey and Seattle priced at +160 (Intertops).

Toronto FC

Toronto FC (20-9-5, 74 GF-37 GA) had the best Regular Season Record ever in the history of the MLS, breaking the single season record for Points (69) as Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Víctor Vázquez (9 goals) and the Reds went a phenomenal 13-3-1 at Home at BMO Field in Toronto, finishing 12 points higher than 2nd-place NYCFC (57 points) in the Eastern Conference standings. To get here, the Reds outscored everyone in the league with stellar new GK Alex Bono, Giovinco (17 goals) and Altidore (16 goals) in the Regular Season but barely made it through the Eastern Conference half of the Playoffs bracket, ousting NYCFC by a Road goal in a 2-2 aggregate series scoreline (NYCFC 1-TOR 2, TOR 0-NYCFC 1) and then edging the Columbus Crew in the Semifinals, 1-0 on aggregate (CLB 0-0 TFC, TFC 1-0 CLB) on a huge goal from a gimpy Altidore (Ankle) in the 2nd half of Leg 2 in Columbus to advance. Altidore has said that he’ll play here in the MLS Cup Championship Game which this year will be played during the daytime when Mr. Sun is at work as opposed to last year’s winner-take-all frigid snoozer which was played at night as Mr. Moon watched on, half-asleep in a bitterly cold Ontario.

Toronto FC Projected Starting XI (3-5-2): GK Bono; Mavinga, Moor, Zavaleta; Morrow, Delgado, Bradley, Vázquez, Beitashour; Giovinco, Altidore.

Seattle Sounders FC

The Seattle Sounders (14-11-9, 52 GF-39 GA) unfortunately didn’t have the services of Clint Dempsey (15 goals) for this game last year (Irregular Heartbeat), and this year’s Sounders version is bigger and more experienced than last year’s club which saw the Western Conference win an 8th straight MLS Cup as Seattle edged Toronto after a 5-4 PK Shootout win after the two sides remained deadlocked at 0-0 after Regulation and Added Extra Time. (This is no way to determine a champion brother. You must play forever like the NHL Playoffs from the Semifinals on.) To get here this time around, Nicolás Lodeiro and West #2-seed Seattle defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on aggregate in the Semifinals (VAN 0-0 SEA, SEA 2- VAN) and then got to this second straight MLS Cup by bouncing the Dynamo, 5-0 on aggregate (HOU 0-3 SEA, SEA 2-0 HOU) in a big letdown for Houston fans after Erick Torres and the club has such a wonderful 2017 Regular Season, especially at Home.

Adding scorer Will Bruin (13 goals), Harry Shipp, Nouhou, Kelvin Leerdam, Gustav Svensson and Víctor Rodríguez to a squad which already had Dempsey, Lodeiro (7 goals), Chad Marshall, Román Torres, veteran Brad Evans and GK Stefan Frei (1.09 GAA) makes this Sounders team a nasty opponent and the +360 odds seems about 120 cents overpriced against a Seattle team that can easily go into Toronto and win this one outright, especially with leader Dempsey playing this time around and TFC barely making it to this point by the hair of their canadian chinny-chin-chins. Evans (Back) and Ozzy Alonso (Quad) are the only Injury concerns for Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer.

Seattle Sounders FC Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK Frei; Nouhou, Marshall, Torres, Leerdam; Svensson, Roldan; Jones, Dempsey, Lodeiro; Bruin.

Sounders-Toronto FC Series History, Best Betting Approaches, Toronto Weather Forecast For Saturday Afternoon

Looking at the all-Time series history in this inter-conference MLS series, we see that Seattle has gone an impressive 7-3-3 (18 GF-11 GA) against Toronto after last year’s scoreless Draw in the Record Books but Win in the title race after that 5-4 Shootout putting Seattle on the Wikipedia page forever and forcing Toronto and Head Coach Greg Vanney to simply have to get better this season, And it did. The Reds won the lone meeting of the 2017 Regular Season, shutting out the Sounders, 1-0 on May 6 at CenturyLink Field. So, small psychological edge to Seattle here, even with the Site and the host Reds accomplishments this past season which include the Supporters’ Shield and a sixth Canadian Cup champions who will need great games from the adept Vázquez, Bradley and GK Bono (1.12 GAA).

The Weather Forecast for Toronto on Saturday afternoon is currently calling for Cloudy Skies early on with a few possible Snow Showers (30%) developing through the day, Temperatures in the low 30’s with SSW Winds 10-15 mph, so, slight edge to Toronto who may be more familiar playing in the Cold and Snow than Seattle who comes from a rainier and slightly warmer city, although the afternoon kickoff is better for the visitors in terms of sight and Temperatures. With the West having W8 straight MLS Cups, Dempsey back, the Sounder breezing through the Western Conference Playoffs and being bigger and better this year, the +360 (Three-Way, Intertops) and +160 (Outrights, Intertops) are just too hard to pass up in a game Seattle (+1 -105 Asian Handicap, Intertops) will probably win one way or another, with playmaker Lodeiro possibly being a key a key as well as gritty Dempsey’s expectations. As The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison once howled, "The West is the best." Mr. Mojo knows.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Toronto 0 Sounders 2Free MLS Cups Picks: Sounders +360, Sounders +1 & Sounders ML +160Best LIne Offered: at Intertops

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