Toronto FC are heading to their third MLS Cup final in four seasons and once again they will face the Seattle Sounders, this time on Nov. 10 at CenturyLink Field.
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Greg Vanney’s side upset favorites and reigning champions Atlanta United 2-1 in Georgia on Wednesday, as TFC fell behind but rallied after goalkeeper Quentin Westberg saved Josef Martinez’s penalty kick.
Struggling along has been Toronto’s mantra all season, as injuries and key absences due to the Gold Cup have hit them hard but they’ve peaked at the right time and they’re now 13 games unbeaten heading into the final.
“Early in the year we battled, we went through the midseason and kept our head above water, got our team back together and have been on a run,” Vanney said. “Tonight was similar. We were missing a couple of guys, but the group of guys that were out there, nobody outside of our club thought could maybe get it done except maybe our fans and us.”
Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez were missing on Wednesday and so many players have been in and out of the team during the campaign. Nicolas Benezet equalized in the first half and after heavy pressure from Atlanta, Nick de Leon jumped off the bench and scored a beauty to sent TFC to the final.
Toronto finished fourth in the Eastern Conference in the regular season but they’ve now won away at New York City FC and Atlanta to knock off the top two seeds in the East, and that comes after a wild overtime win against D.C. United to kick off their playoff run.
Seattle will be favorites to win MLS Cup 2019 given its at their home stadium, but Vanney and Co. have upset the odds all season long to be within 90 minutes of being crowned champions once again.
Would you bet against Toronto rolling into Seattle and leaving with the MLS Cup trophy?
Captain Michael Bradley, someone who knows all about battling against the tide in recent years, was hoping to face LAFC and his dad Bob Bradley in the final but he clearly thinks sparks will fly in Seattle 10 days from now.
“With all due respect to Seattle, I was rooting for the other team on Tuesday pretty hard,” Bradley smiled. “The fact it works out to be Seattle against Toronto for the third time in four years… it makes for an interesting game!”