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Toronto FC wins MLS Cup

Jozy Altidore scored in the 67th minute and Victor Vazquez added a stoppage-time goal Saturday as Toronto FC completed a record-breaking season with a 2-0 win over Seattle in the MLS Cup final, avenging a penalty shootout loss to the Sounders in last year's championship game.

Toronto dominated in a performance brimming with confidence and intent before 30,584 on a warmer-than-expected late afternoon at BMO Field. Seattle was on the back foot almost from the get-go.

It had been one-way traffic for Toronto, but the home side — like in last year's final — was unable to beat Seattle's superb 'keeper Stefan Frei. That changed midway through the second half after a Sounders turnover deep in the Toronto end was sent back the other way at pace. Sebastian Giovinco split the defence with a pass and Altidore chipped the ball over an onrushing Frei.

Altidore, who had scored the winning goal last time out despite rolling his ankle in the Eastern Conference final against Columbus, headed towards the southwest corner for a repeat celebration that saw him swallowed up by jubilant teammates.

Altidore was named the game's most valuable player for his performance.

"This is the greatest city in the world," Altidore said after receiving his MVP award on the field.

"This is for you guys, we love you guys," he added as the crowd chanted "Jozy, Jozy."

The Sounders had not conceded a goal in 609 minutes, a run that dated back to a 2-0 loss in Philadelphia on Oct. 1. Seattle had posted shutouts in 12 of its previous 18 games, including the last six.

Seattle's post-season shutout run was even longer — an MLS playoff-record 714 minutes dating back to the second leg of the 2016 Western Conference final against the Colorado Rapids.

Frei, whose personal shutout streak in the post-season ended at an MLS-record 624 minutes, had posted five straight playoff shutouts.

Vazquez made it 2-0, knocking the ball in the 94th minute after Armando Cooper's shot hit the goalpost. The south stand lit up immediately as supporters lit flares to celebrate.

Saturday's win completed an unprecedented treble for Toronto, adding the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy to the Supporters' Shield symbolic of the best regular-season record — in this case the league's best regular season ever — and the Voyageurs Cup as Canadian champions.

Toronto (20-5-9) earned a league-record 69 points this season, dispatching the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew SC earlier in the playoffs.

The first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season, Toronto set franchise records for wins (20), goals scored (74), fewest goals allowed (37), shutouts (13), home wins (13), home points (42), road wins (7) and road points (27).

Toronto came into the final having lost just twice at BMO Field this season, to Montreal in the regular season and the Red Bulls in the playoffs.

Seattle (14-9-11) finished 16 points behind Toronto in the regular season. The Sounders beat Vancouver and Houston to reach the final.

Under Major League Soccer's collective bargaining agreement, the Cup winners share US$275,000 while the losers divide $80,000.​



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