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Canada

Sounders top Toronto FC in ‘The Trilogy’ for 2nd MLS Cup

Kelvin Leerdam, Victor Rodriguez and Raul Ruidiaz scored in the second half as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting Toronto FC 3-1 in the MLS Cup on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 69,274 at CenturyLink Field.

Trailing 3-0, Toronto substitute Jozy Altidore scored on a diving header off a cross from Alejandro Pozuelo in second-half stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Sounders from claiming the second title in franchise history.

It was the third meeting in the league’s championship game in the past four years for the teams, with the previous two matches in Toronto. The Sounders won the title in 2016, claiming the championship in penalty kicks after a scoreless draw. Toronto avenged that defeat the following season with a 2-0 victory.

Sunday’s match was billed as “The Trilogy,” and it turned into a thriller for the home crowd.

Leerdam struck first in the 57th minute. Ruidiaz controlled the ball about 25 yards from the net on the left side before lofting a cross-field pass for Leerdam on the right wing. Leerdam dribbled past one defender and unleashed a 15-yard shot that deflected off the shin of Toronto defender Justin Morrow and into the left side of the net.

Rodriguez, who came on as a substitute in the 61st minute, doubled the advantage in the 76th minute. He worked a nifty give-and-go with Nicolas Lodeiro, and his shot from the top center of the 18-yard box made its way through two converging defenders and off the fingertips of Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg before bouncing just inside the right post. Gustav Svensson also was credited with an assist.

Ruidiaz added insurance in the 90th minute, taking a long stretch pass from Svensson down the middle of the field, outmuscling Toronto’s Chris Mavinga for the ball and lofting a left-footed shot from 18 yards over Westberg.

Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who previously played in Toronto from 2009-13, made four saves — three when the game was still scoreless in the first half. Westberg also made four saves.

–Field Level Media

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