The stats behind Toronto and Seattle's quest to make history at MLS Cup

The stats behind Toronto and Seattle's quest to make history at MLS Cup
From ESPN - December 7, 2017

Out of the bundles of stats and data extracted for Saturday's MLS Cup final (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN), there are several choice nuggets of information that spark one's interest.

1. History is calling for both teams

Whether Toronto FC would go down in history as the greatest MLS team ever if it wins Saturday is a point that could be debated until the cows come home. Many will point to the early days of D.C. United, or one of the LA Galaxy teams from earlier this decade, but certainly TFC, who set the regular-season points record this year, is in the discussion should it hoist the trophy.

What would separate TFC from the others is the treble accomplishment, an MLS first. Now, the Canadian Championship is not nearly as rigorous as winning the U.S. Open Cup, but it's a trophy nonetheless, and it's not like the Ottawa Fury and Montreal Impact did not put up a good fight in the semifinals and finals, respectively. Adding the third and most important trophy to the bunch would make TFC a standout in the history books.

The same goes for Seattle, albeit in a different way. Few are the teams that have gone back-to-back, and in this day and age of MLS expansion, two MLS Cups in two years would be exceptional. For context, a decade ago when the Houston Dynamo topped the New England Revolution for their second league crown in succession, MLS had just 13 teams compared to the 22 franchises today.

A win at BMO Field on Saturday evening would also extend a remarkable assembling of silverware in the Sounders' trophy cabinet. In addition to last year's 2016 MLS Cup, there was a Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup in 2014, and you could even go back to 2009 when the team began a streak of three straight U.S. Open Cup titles.

This all means that Saturday's clash is a chance for either side to put a very firm stamp on the North American soccer books and be a part of any best-ever discussion.

2. Jozy Altidore: Mr. Clutch

It's been an eventful fall 2017 for Jozy Altidore. Once the final whistle sounded in Couva, Trinidad, on Oct. 10 and the United States was eliminated from World Cup qualifying after a 2-1 loss to T&T, Altidore and TFC teammate Michael Bradley were made public enemies 1A and 1B by U.S. fans.


Continue reading at ESPN »