Seattle Sounders will "dictate our style and our tempo" to Toronto FC in MLS Cup Final

TUKWILA, Wash. — Toronto FC’s comeback win over the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening in the Eastern Conference Championship had enormous implications for the Seattle Sounders.

Seattle won the West on Sunday and would have hosted the Impact in MLS Cup if they had advanced. Instead, the Sounders will travel to Ontario, Canada, to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday, Dec. 10 (5 p.m. PT; FOX, TSN, UniMas, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM) because of TFC’s better regular-season record.

The Eastern Conference Championship was a wild one from start to finish. The teams combined to score the most total goals in a two-leg playoff series in MLS history, with TFC outlasting Montreal 7-5 on aggregate, including a 5-2 win in extra time in the second leg.

“It was an exciting soccer game, that was my initial reaction,” said Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer on Thursday. “I’m a little bummed it’s not here [in Seattle], but at the end of the day, we couldn’t control what happened in that match. We’re controlling what we’re controlling.”

One of the main priorities for Seattle will be slowing down a potent Toronto attack that features 2015 MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, who amassed 32 points in just 28 matches this season. He also has four goals and four assists in five postseason games.

TFC also boasts U.S. internationals Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, who on Wednesday became the first player in league history to score in five consecutive playoff matches in one season. Bradley and Altidore missed TFC’s only match with the Sounders this season, a 1-1 draw at BMO Field in July.

“[Giovinco] is certainly a tremendous player, and I don’t know how he got left out of some of the awards [this year],” said Schmetzer. “He’s tremendous. But Jozy makes him a good player, Bradley makes him a good player.

“We will try and dictate our style and our tempo to them, and they’re going to try and do the same. So it becomes the chess match within the soccer match.”

The Sounders are preparing like they would for any other game. They’ve said repeatedly that every match since Schmetzer took over has been must-win and so facing a talented offensive team on the road in the final is no different.

“We’re expecting [TFC] to send numbers forward especially at home and with their crowd behind them,” said defender Zach Scott, who will retire after MLS Cup. “It is just another game. You have to worry about yourself first, your preparation, what your role is on the team and do that to the best of your ability.”



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