Best moments in Seattle Sounders’ MLS franchise history: First Western Conference Championship

Heading into the 2016 MLS Cup Final on Saturday, is taking a look at the 10 best moments in the Seattle Sounders’ Major League Soccer history. No's. 10-8 were released on Monday, No's. 7-5 on Tuesday, No. 4 and 3 on Wednesday, No. 2 on Thursday and No. 1 on Friday.

No. 1: Sounders’ First Western Conference Championship

Could it be anything other than #ThisMoment?

When Jordan Morris chipped a ball past goalkeeper Zac MacMath in the Seattle Sounders’ win over the Colorado Rapids in Commerce City, Colo., two weeks ago, the emotion surrounding the team was equal parts joy and relief. Morris’ goal gave the Sounders what would be an insurmountable aggregate lead and helped finally bring the Western Conference trophy to Seattle.

Prior to this year, the Sounders had made seven consecutive trips to the MLS Cup Playoffs since their inaugural season in 2009, and each time they failed to make it out of the West. They lost in the Western Conference Championship in 2012 and ’14 to the LA Galaxy, who went on to win MLS Cup both years, adding insult to injury for a team that had come up just short yet again.

The conference final two years ago hurt. Seattle had just finished a domestic double by winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and capturing the Supporters’ Shield. The Sounders won the latter on the final day of the regular season against the Galaxy, only to watch LA advance past Seattle in the playoffs on away goals.

This 2016 edition of the Sounders couldn’t be any more different, though. They were near the conference basement in July, needed a win on Decision Day to even guarantee a playoff spot and then took down the top two seeds in the West to make it to their first MLS Cup Final.

The Sounders are in “rarified air,” as FOX analyst Alexi Lalas calls it. This team was never supposed to be in Toronto competing for an MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 10 (5 p.m. PT; FOX, TSN, UniMas, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM). Not after all the adversity during the first half of the season, which included parting ways with Sigi Schmid, the only head coach the MLS Sounders had known.

Yet, here they are, resilient and opportunistic. With the Western Conference trophy securely sitting on its mantle, the Sounders are just 90 minutes away from adding the final missing piece of hardware to all the successes they’ve had in less than a decade in Major League Soccer.

If they do that, if they finally achieve the league’s top prize they have pined for since their inception, then best believe this list will feature a new No. 1.



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