We are down to one final game to bring the 2016 MLS to a thrilling conclusion, nine months after the 2016 Major League Soccer season began. It’s the MLS Cup final between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders at BMO Field.
Both teams have a host of stars within their ranks, incredible fan support, but no MLS Cup to show for it. That last fact will change for one of them by the time the 2016 MLS Cup final ends on December 10.
Bookmakers believe it will be Toronto who emerge victorious from the battle. They are priced as -105 favorites compared to the +270 on a Seattle sounders victory and +250 on the 90 minutes ending in a tie. Should the latter occur, extra time will be played before penalties if the scores are still level.
The two sides met during regular season at BMO Field in an evenly matched game that ended 1-1 thanks a 60th minute goal from Toronto’s Jordan Hamilton and a 61st minute equalizer from rookie sensation Jordan Morris.
A 1-1 draw after 90 minutes is priced at +500 with most online bookmakers. It’s also the favorite score line, closely followed by +600 on a Toronto 1-0 win and +700 for a Toronto 2-1 victory.
While Seattle have Stefan Frei, arguably the better goalkeeper in the MLS, and Roman Torres and Chad Marshall, the best central defensive partnership, there is little to separate the two sides in midfield.
Toronto’s 3-5-2 formation allows them to play the awesome trio of Armando Cooper, Will Johnson and Michael Bradley. They should be able to marshall the deadly Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, who was the MLS’ MVP over the last three months. If they can stop Lodeiro being at his brilliant best, Toronto will be in pole position.
Toronto excel up front. Jozy Altidore scored 14 goals in the final 17 games of the season. His partner, talisman Sebastian Giovinco, somehow didn’t even make the top three of the 2016 MLS MVP awards despite many pundits claiming he should have walked away with the trophy. But make no mistake, he’s quick, agile, creative and deadly in front of goal.
Seattle are going to have their hands full trying to stop both Altidore and Giovinco from getting on the score sheet. Compare this to Seattle’s Nelson Valdez, who only scored once in 1,313 minutes during regular season, and you could say the Sounders frontline is rather toothless.
They do, however, have Morris, the man whose semifinal goal in Colorado booked the Sounders spot in the final. He’s a very dangerous player and has the capacity to win the cup in an instant.
Toronto FC, especially at home, should win the MLS Cup, probably by a 2-1 margin. Backing the between two and three goals scored market at -110 looks like a bargain, as is the both teams to score at -145.
For the first time in MLS Cup history, the coveted trophy will be won north of the border. Make sure to back the Canadian outfit at your favorite online sportsbook to make the returns you deserve.