Sounders FC will play for the MLS Cup on their home turf for the first time in franchise history.
Seattle, the Western Conference champions, earned the right after Toronto FC upset the league’s defending champion, Atlanta United 2-1 in an Eastern Conference final Wednesday.
The Sounders (56 points) finished higher in the overall league table than the “Reds” (50 points) during regular-season play. In MLS’s inaugural single-elimination playoff bracket, the higher seeds host.
So, Rave Green fans can plan to pack CenturyLink Field on Nov. 10 to see their club play for the league championship. The matchup will also air nationally on ABC.
“Yes, we can win the West, but that’s not what it is for us,” Sounders defender Kelvin Leerdam said recently. “I don’t want to call myself a West champion. I just want to call myself a champion of the country, (and) everybody is locked in.”
Seattle won its third conference title in four years on Tuesday. The Sounders defeated Los Angeles FC 3-1 at Banc of California Stadium.
Coincidentally, the Sounders won the club’s first MLS Cup in 2016 by defeating Toronto on its turf. The Sounders defeated Toronto FC 3-2 at CenturyLink Field in April. The match ended up capping Seattle’s franchise-best six-game unbeaten streak to open the season.
The teamwork between forward Raul Ruidiaz and midfielder Nico Lodeiro has been lethal for Seattle during this playoff run. Lodeiro has set up Ruidiaz for three goals and scored two of his own in the three Western Conference matches. Ruidiaz, who was signed by the club in June 2018, has three goals and three assists overall this postseason.
“Not only their goals (Tuesday), but they were great in defending,” said Sounders left back Brad Smith of the LAFC win via audio provided by MLS. “Raul coming to get the long ball and fighting off two center backs and holding the ball for us, that’s massive for us. And then he gets rewarded with his two goals. Great finishes. Those two up front were magnificent in attack and defense. Everyone knows that’s what won us the game.”