Ari Liljenwall writing for SoundersFC.com:
For the second time in four years, the Seattle Sounders are MLS Cup champions.
Kelvin Leerdam scored the opening goal in the 57th minute, Víctor Rodríguez added a second in the 76th and Raúl Ruidíaz added a third in second-half stoppage time, pacing the Sounders to a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC in Sunday’s MLS Cup Final in front of a record sold-out crowd of 69,274 at CenturyLink Field.
I woke up so happy this morning. I wanted to give it a little time and soak this all in before writing about it, but I’m just overjoyed at the moment. It’s been a little easy for me to forget the Seahawks have a huge game tonight against the Niners, that’s how big the Sounders winning the Cup at home is to me.
I lived vicariously through my ECS family on Twitter. I soaked in their emotions, celebrated their joy, and I frankly can’t wait to meet up with some of them soon across the Midwest and maybe even Seattle eventually. I’m also still in awe of the full stadium tifo they created. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes with supporters groups, so much respect to everyone there who do what they do.
Part of me is sad this whole thing is over. There’s still a parade tomorrow, sure, and I’ll soak in all the scenes from that. But, there’s simply no sport that has this kind of passion, a sense of family and community, and just downright fun as football… or soccer if you wish. I joined two supporters clubs for the first time this year, The Emerald City Supporters and The American Outlaws (who represent the US National Teams), and it has only gelled me more with this sport. I’m to the point where I want to talk to a few of the US supporters in Lincoln to see if there’s enough interest in getting a group together for Manchester United, The Premier League club I follow. But, that’s what I’ll be watching through the winter months until the Sounders come into camp in February.
Looking back on this year, it’s been a year. The retirments, the injuries, the new guys coming in, the returns, the new ownership group, and having it all come together in the end the way it did. It’s been a crazy ride with this team over the course of this year. It’s been a source of joy for me, sometimes when I’ve needed one the most. It’s all why I watch. It’s helps me feel connected with a region I was born in and love immensely. I love this team, I love our couch, I love my supporters family, and I’m just so proud right now. SSFC TID!