Seattle defeated champion Nicolas Benezet of Toronto


Seattle won the second-ever North American football championship after Sunday's home success against Toronto (3-1) in the MLS Cup final. The Sounders finished 2nd in the Western Conference after the regular season behind Los Angeles FC.

For its part, the Canadian franchise, which falls again in the final against Seattle, as in 2016, can feed many regrets, having failed to achieve its frank dominance in the first half at CenturyLink Field.

The goalkeeper Stefan Frei, always decisive, notably stopped a shot from the French Nicolas Benezet (36), very prominent alongside Alejandro Pozuelo and Marco Delgado. Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer was well aware at half-time, calling his team to "play better" and "create more opportunities". In the second half, his team was able to take advantage of Kelvin Leerdam's lucky deflected shot to open the score (57). In the game, Victor Rodriguez scored the second goal of a nice foot (76), before Raul Ruidiaz (90) crucified a Toronto team, yet persevering, but feverish counterattack.

Jozy Altidore, who was unsure of injury and started the game on the bench, saved the honor late in the game (93). At the final whistle, Brian Schmetzer, also a former Seattle player, where he was born, was delighted with this "nice moment for the city, for the fans, for the players".

"They deserve it," said the 57-year-old coach, who has been posted since 2016 after a first stint between 2002 and 2008. "I'm really happy for the fans and my teammates, it's a special emotion." Victor Rodriguez, describing the "good mentality" of the team, "very competitive" and "always hardworking".

It was the third final between the two franchises in just four years. The first was won by Seattle in 2016 (0-0, 5-4 t.a.b.), before the revenge of the Canadians the following year (2-0). This time, for a first at home, Seattle had the beautiful one.

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