Seattle Sounders' Victor Rodriguez, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Toronto FC, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, during the second half of the MLS Cup championship soccer match in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

MLS Cup 2019 goes to Sounders for club’s second title

The Seattle Sounders have once again reached the summit of Major League Soccer. The Sounders won their second league title on Sunday against familiar foe Toronto FC, using three goals in the second half to win 3-1. Seattle, which also captured the league crown in 2016, became the sixth franchise in MLS history to win multiple championships. This was the club’s third final appearance in four years, and the game played out just as the team planned in an intense match in front of a record CenturyLink Field crowd of 69,274.

Here are three takeaways from the match:

Seattle’s plan worked to perfection
In talking to Sounders players, especially Cristian Roldan, they said the plan was to focus on the defensive side first. The Sounders invited Toronto to attack before going forward in numbers. The visitors had most of the ball and some decent chances in the first hour, but Seattle was quick to get forward and it paid off on all three goals. Watch the pace and urgency they played with to switch the field and get it to Kelevin Leerdam for his deflected opener 57 minutes in:

Seattle knew that Toronto would win the battle for possession and was fine with it. It’s been the Sounders’ strategy throughout their playoff run. They’ve done it to perfection, and it’s part of the reason why they are the champs.

Bradley was a bright spot for Toronto
Midfielder Michael Bradley was sharp for the most part in this game and was key in a first half when Toronto was simply a bit better. He was patient, accurate and put his team in position to cause damage, though they didn’t manage to do much against Stefan Frei. In the end, he will rue the missed passes over the top and wish he was a bit more accurate, but his display gave him team a shot.

Rodriguez proved to be the super sub
Subs always play a crucial role in these games, and both teams went with one that they hoped would turn the tide. Jozy Altidore came in during the second half for Toronto in his first game of the playoffs since recovering from an injury, but he wasn’t fed enough quality balls when it mattered. Victor Rodriguez, a former Barcelona youth player who has dealt with injuries, got minutes in the second half for the Sounders. Rodriguez delivered with an absolutely fantastic finish that ended up being the winning goal:

Part of the reason he was able to make an impact was just how well Seattle’s midfield worked. Nicolas Lodeiro was lively, Roldan gave everything in the middle and they were rewarded. Raul Ruidiaz scored in the 90th minute to put the game away and start the championship celebration in the stands. Altidore scored a goal in added time for Toronto, but it was too little too late.

Toronto 1-3 Seattle (FT)
CBS Sports was with you the entire way, updating this story with the latest scores, highlights and analysis. You can relive Seattle’s win below.

Author: Roger Gonzalez/ CBS Sports
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