Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer expressed his pride as his side beat Toronto FC on penalties to win a first MLS Cup after a goalless draw at BMO Field.
Both sides were appearing in the league’s showpiece match for the first time and Toronto had the better of the chances in front of their home support.
However, former Reds goalkeeper Stefan Frei was in inspired form for Seattle, making a stunning stop from Jozy Altidore in extra time and then keeping out Michael Bradley’s penalty to earn the game’s MVP award.
Justin Morrow missed from the spot, too, and the Sounders were crowned champions, leaving Schmetzer, a Seattle native, to reflect on an incredible night.
“I think it’s going to take a while to sink in,” he said. “What I do know is the words that I can come up with: I’m awfully proud of those guys. They’re obviously very happy in that locker room.
“I’m happy for the travelling support. I’m happy for the fans that couldn’t make the trip out here and see the game live.
“I’m proud, I’m happy, I’m thankful for the opportunity that [Sounders owners] Adrian [Hanauer] and Joe [Roth] gave me. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“I’m sure, 10 years from now, I’ll be able to really reflect and soak this in because it was a tremendous moment and one that may never come around again.”
Meanwhile, having seen his team just come up short in an ill-tempered affair, Toronto captain Bradley rued the small margins that proved costly.
“The margins are so small,” he said. “On nights like this, you have no choice but to go for it.
“We talked about that before the game: be fearless, go after things. We did that. We were strong and brave, and went after the game from the first minute right up until the 120th minute.
“On a different night, you get a goal. If you get the first one, you probably get a few more. But that’s the game; that’s how it goes.”
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