Seattle Sounders:At last MLS Cup Champions

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The final beautiful story of 2016 comes from North America where in the MLS Cup final between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders,the Sounders beat the reds from Toronto in a dramatic fashion in penalty shootouts and won their first ever MLS Cup title since they made a debut in the MLS in 2009.Seattle which is the largest city in Washington State and one of the largest cities on the West Coast is mostly known for its Space Needle built for the 1962 Seattle Expo,its music since in the 1990s was the center of the hard hitting Grudge Rock sound and bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden,but mostly its progressive and liberal political culture which makes them one of the centers of the liberal Democrats on the West Coast along with San Francisco,but also it is a one of the centers of soccer on the West Coast along with their neighbours and bitter rivals Portland to the south and Vancouver to the north.Soccer in Seattle has a history which spans for decades and has been a popular sport since the days of the old North American Soccer League where the original Sounders participated back in 1974 when they were admitted in the NASL and where they spended nine seasons until 1983 when the NASL was all but doomed.They never won an NASL title besides they had two Soccer Bowl appearances in 1977 and 1982 which the lost both to the NY Cosmos,they managed to attract names like Mike England who played for Tottenham,Jimmy Gabriel who was a former star of Everton,West Ham legends Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore with domestic names like Brian Schmetzer which is the current coach of the Sounders,Benny Dargle and Ian Bridge which left a legacy in the NASL.During their existence in the NASL the Sounders managed to make the Soccer Bowl twice (1977 and 1982),won a conference and a division championship in 1977 and won two division titles in 1980 and 1982 and made soccer a popular sport in Seattle besides they folded in 1983 and it took 11 years after that the Sounders franchise would return to the stage besides from the earliest days of the Maor League Soccer there was a strong desire to return professional soccer to Seattle.The resurrection of the Sounders came in 1994 when they joined the lower division of the American Professional Soccer League (APSL) which later would be known as the United Soccer League where the Sounders would spend the next 13 years and would become one of the top teams of the USL where they won four USL titles (1995,1996,2002 and 2007) with Brian Schmetzer as coach leading them to two USL titles.In the 2000s with the constructions of the Seahawk Stadium which known as CenturyLink Field,Seattle would be a contender for an MLS franchise but it wasn’t until in November 2007 that the MLS awarded the franchise to Seattle and with that the Sounders returned to the highest division in American soccer for the first time since 1983.

The Sounders made their debut in the MLS at the beginning of the 2009 season as the league’s 15th team and in its first three seasons they made a mark by winning three consecutive US Open Cup titles in 2009,2010 and 2011 when they defeated DC United,Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire.But in the MLS besides all these years they reached the playoffs they obstacles to reach the MLS Cup final was either to pass the Conference Semifinals where they were defeated a record five times while prior to this years MLS Cup triumph,the Sounders reached the Conference Finals twice-in 2012 when when they were defeated by the LA Galaxy 4-2 on aggregate score and in 2014 which was one of the club’s best seasons where they won their fourth US Open Cup in a final against Philadelphia Union and they won the Supporters Shield because they had the best record in the regular season but again the LA Galaxy which is one of the best teams in the league and holds the record of MLS Cup titles at 5,went into the MLS Cup final based on the away goal rule.Besides all these years having one of the best squads which featured the names of Freddy Montero,Obafemi Martins,Clint Dempsey,Eddie Johnson,Steve Zakuani and others,the Sounders couldn’t have their big break and there was a cloud of certainity that something was missing to make the final step to glory.However this season couldn’t have started worse for the Sounders when in their first three matches recorded three defeats and after recovering in April and early with a string of four victories in six matchdays,it was a summer of darkness for the club when from mid-May to early August in eleven matchdays collected only 8 points out of possible 33,that included a draws against LA Galaxy and Toronto with two victories-a 5-0 trouncing of Dallas in mid-July and a minimum 1-0 victory against DC United in June,however as summer more and more passed by there was a danger that the Sounders might miss the playoffs for the first time in their history which would mean the end of their playoff streak.Due to that and bad results which put the Sounders out of playoff contention Sigi Schmid,the man which built the Sounders since they made their debut in 2009 was fired from bench at the of July and was replaced by Brian Schmetzer who played for the Sounders during the NASL era and coached the club from 2002 and 2008 when they won 2 USL titles.With Schmetzer’s hiring the Sounders rallied like never before,in the last twelve matchdays of the regular season which were between early August and late October,they collected 27 points of possible 36 and ended at the fourth place in the Western Conference which was enough to reach the knockout round of the playoffs and after they defeated Sporting Kansas City,Dallas and Colorado Rapids between them and history were the reds of Toronto FC led by Bradley,Altidore and Giovinco and they wrote one of the stories in 2016 in world football by winning their first ever MLS Cup title which they waited for so many years to win.

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