With the Seattle Sounders’ 2020 Major League Soccer season in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look back at the five biggest on-field storylines from the year that was.
FOUR MLS CUP APPEARANCES IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS
The Sounders became the first team in the post-shootout era to appear in four MLS Cups in five years (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020). Seattle won two titles (2016, 2019) in that span, but fell 3-0 at Columbus Crew SC in the final this season. As for how Seattle got there…
Down 2-0 in the 75th minute against Minnesota United in the Western Conference Final, the Sounders rallied to score three times in the final 15 minutes to win 3-2. Will Bruin cut the deficit in half in the 75th minute, Raúl Ruidíaz equalized in the 89th and Gustav Svensson headed home the winner in the third minute of stoppage time. Seattle became the first team in MLS postseason history to win in regulation after trailing in the 88th minute or later.
POSTSEASON STREAK CONTINUES
Seattle qualified for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th consecutive year, extending its own MLS record. The Sounders have reached the postseason in every season of their MLS existence and are second among league leaders in active postseason streaks among the five major United States sports (Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL: 14).
On Sept. 10 at Lumen Field, the Sounders defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 7-1 in a record-setting night. The seven goals scored set a club record, as did the six-goal margin of victory. The Sounders also set club records for goals before halftime (five) and tied a club record for different goalscorers (five). Morris also set a career high for assists in a single match (three).
Sounders midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro and forwards Jordan Morris and Ruidíaz were all named to MLS’ Best XI, the first time in club history that three players earned that honor in the same season. Lodeiro (7g, 10a) and Morris (10g, 8a) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Landon Donovan MLS MVP voting. Ruidíaz (12g, 4a) won the club’s Golden Boot for the third consecutive year and finished second in MLS in goals.