The end of tomorrow will mark the end of the 2016 MLS season and a first-time MLS Champion will be crowned. Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders will battle it out at 8:00 PM EST tomorrow on FOX and UNIMAS in the United States for a chance at their first ever MLS Cup. The game features evenly matched teams that will both be determined to use their star power and work ethic to propel them. Let’s take a look at the last MLS game of 2016.
MLS Cup 2016: Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders 8:00 PM EST (FOX and UNIMAS)
This game features two underdogs that have looked like powerhouses in the playoffs. Toronto FC’s pounding of NYCFC in the first round and hard-fought win against Montreal in what was arguably one of the best Eastern Conference Championships in MLS Cup history was impressive to say the least. Seattle’s win against number one FC Dallas and number two Colorado shows that they are not afraid to play against the big dogs, even without Clint Dempsey leading the offensive production. The only meeting between these teams in 2016 ended in a 1-1 draw, which makes it an extremely hard game to predict. On paper, this game looks like it will be decided in the fifteenth round of penalty kicks. One thing, however, does fall in favor of Toronto FC, and it may be enough to sway the momentum; home-field advantage.
Toronto FC is the higher seed in this matchup, so they were awarded the home-field advantage in the final. This is important because both teams have used their home venues atmosphere to gain advantages in every playoff series so far. This is only a one game series, and the fact that Toronto just pulled off a dramatic come from behind series victory against Montreal at BMO Field shows that it is not easy for good teams to play in high pressure games at this venue, even with a slight advantage.
Seattle will count on their defense to remain rock solid and Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris to find form up front in what is sure to be an extremely cold final. Stefan Frei, Tyrone Mears, Roman Torres, Chad Marshall, and Joevin Jones will look continue their excellent form, allowing only three goals in the playoffs thus far.
Toronto FC will attempt to take advantage of the home-field momentum and pick up where they left off against Montreal. We saw the Toronto fans react to Montreal goals by quieting down, so it is important that they start strong to keep the crowd in their favor. They also need to be aware of counter attacks from what is arguably one of the best counter-attacking teams in the MLS. With that said, Toronto FC will look toward Jozy Altidore who is in extremely good form, Michael Bradley, and Sebastian Giovinco to continue pounding goals into the back of the net no matter what happens on their defensive side. Toronto houses a power-packed attack that will help guide them to their first ever MLS Championship.
Our 2016 MLS Cup Champion Pick: Toronto FC