Seattle Tops Toronto Once Again in MLS Final

Alonso Frias

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The Seattle Sounders beat Toronto FC 3-1 on Nov. 10 to claim their second Major League Soccer Cup in history. The MLS is continuing to grow within the United States, however still has a long way to go to compete with the big three American sports.

Seattle and Toronto final hosted 69,274 fans at CenturyLink Field, which is more than any of the first four home games that the Seattle Seahawks have had this season in the NFL. 

Metrics could be increased in terms of popularity if more stellar and in-their-prime players go to the MLS, regular season games become more attractive and if the Men’s National Team starts winning international tournaments and actually makes the next World Cup.

The MLS is steadily rising in popularity but remains far away from being in fan discussions compared to other professional leagues in America such as the NFL, NBA and MLB. The league is continuing to grow in terms of reaching new markets, with the next season set to include Inter Miami CF, in Miami, Florida, a team owned by global icon and England National Team legend David Beckham. 

Carlos Vela, the captain of Los Angeles FC, scored 34 goals, a new MLS record. Vela put all his focus into the MLS season, which included scoring two goals against hometown rivals LA Galaxy in the playoffs and turning down call ups from the Mexican National Team in order to not miss any games. Vela earned the MLS MVP award but came up short in terms of team achievement. 

Another important player who fell short of expectations was Zlatan Ibrahimovic of the LA Galaxy. Zlatan has played for important clubs around the world such as playing alongside Lionel Messi on FC Barcelona. 

Ibrahimovic holds the record for the player with the third most trophies of all time with 31 in his career, and won trophies in every club he played for since 2001. However, this year he was only able to reach the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs in the MLS. 

Ibrahimovic announced his departure from the MLS on Nov. 13 through his Instagram, and he should have left the MLS right after making comments such as stating that everyone in the league is a “Fiat” while he is a “Ferrari.” 

Zlatan stated he made Vela and the LAFC “famous” yet lost to them in the playoffs and simply sounded arrogant and egotistical after a loss. Zlatan even questioned the league in regards to his potential upcoming contract by asking if they even had enough money to resign him. 

The MLS and LA Galaxy should prove him right in a different way and instead use this money to better improve the league as a whole and establishing a better soccer program across the country, with the millions of dollars they will be saving.

Seattle beat the odds with lower tier players and became champion. They finished second in their division and outpointed important teams Dallas, Salt Lake, LA and Toronto in playoffs.  

Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro stepped up in playoffs where they combined to a total of nine goals in four games, including the final. Teams could be successful like Seattle and Toronto if they signed the correct players from other leagues, establishing a basis of of a consistent squad, and kept players that were never supposed to leave. More compelling competition will help build the growing league.