2017 MLS Canadian teams playoffs results
|December 9||Seattle @ Toronto||TBD||TBD|
|November 29||Columbus @ Toronto||Toronto||1-0|
|November 21||Toronto @ Columbus||Tie||0-0|
|November 5||New York Red Bulls @ Toronto||NY Red Bulls||1-0|
|November 2||Vancouver @ Seattle||Seattle||2-0|
|October 30||Toronto @ New York Red Bulls||Toronto||2-1|
|October 29||Seattle @ Vancouver||Tie||0-0|
|October 25||San Jose @ Vancouver||Vancouver||5-0|
The rematch that most of the MLS world wanted is now a reality. The 2017 MLS Cup will feature the same teams that competed for the 2016 MLS Cup in the same location at BMO Field in Toronto. The Toronto FC Reds, winners of the 2017 Supporters Shield, will play the 2016 MLS Cup champions, the Seattle Sounders.
ESPN, UniMás, TSN, and TVA Sports will handle the coverage of the 2017 MLS Cup starting at 4 pm Eastern in Toronto. Canadian Julie Stewart-Binks will be the sideline reporter for ESPN in the MLS Cup. You might remember her history lesson on Montréal and Toronto when she was working for Fox Sports 1.
TSN 1/4/5 will start with a pregame at 3:30 pm. TVA Sports also has a 30-minute pregame.
If you listened to the ESPN announcers, the Seattle Sounders are underdogs going into the 2017 MLS Cup. On paper, perhaps this is true. But the Sounders are putting together some record-shattering defence.
The Sounders have 6 straight postseason shutouts, a MLS record. Seattle had an easy time with the Houston Dynamo, winning 2-0 in Houston and 3-0 in Seattle. The Sounders have outscored their 2017 playoff opponents 7-0.
Colorado Rapids was the last team to score a goal against Seattle in the first leg of the Western Conference championship 2016. In 6 games in the 2016 playoffs, Seattle surrendered 2 goals to FC Dallas and 1 goal to Colorado Rapids. Seattle posted 4 shutouts in 2016: Sporting KC in the knockout round, FC Dallas in the first leg in the Western Conference semifinals, the second leg against Colorado Rapids, and the MLS Cup.
Meanwhile, Toronto only has a 3-2 goal differential. The Reds have posted 2 shutouts in the 2017 playoffs. Then again, the Vancouver Whitecaps also have 2 shutouts and have been eliminated since November 2.
The stat that will be driven into your heads is that in MLS Cup rematches, the team that won the first year won the second year: Houston Dynamo over New England Revolution (2006-2007) and LA Galaxy over Houston Dynamo (2011-2012).
Toronto FC has scored 3 goals in 4 playoff games in 2017. By contrast, Toronto FC scored 17 playoff goals in 2016 — a MLS playoff record — and that includes being shut out in the 2016 MLS Cup.
The frustration in watching the 2016 MLS Cup was that the Seattle Sounders were trying not to score to force penalty kicks. The strategy worked for the Sounders, the defending MLS Cup champions, 5-4 on penalty kicks.
Toronto FC fans may have choices on how the team should win, but can all agree that winning the 2017 MLS Cup is what matters. So Saturday's game will likely be boring, but Reds fans are looking for a good kind of boring where their team wins.
In the 2016 MLS Cup, Toronto FC had 7 shots on goal in the game to 0 for the Seattle Sounders. Maybe one will go in this year.
Toronto has excelled in coming close to winning titles but struggled to win them in recent times. The Blue Jays, Raptors, and Reds have come close in recent times. The CFL Toronto Argonauts was the last team to win a major championship before this year, doing so in 2012.
For the last time Toronto had 2 major championships in a 12-month period, you would go back to the fall of 1950 (Argonauts) and the spring of 1951 (Maple Leafs). For wins in the same calendar year, you have to go back to 1947. The only other year both franchises won championships in the same year was 1945.
The Argonauts won the 1991 Grey Cup followed by Toronto Blue Jays championships in 1992 and 1993.
If the Reds can pull out a win, you can add the Argos title and even the champions Toronto Wolfpack of the Rugby Football League.
Twitter capture: @TorontoFC
photo credit: MLS