Toronto FC Exacts Revenge With Victory Over Sounders To Win Club's First MLS Cup
Toronto FC's win over the Sounders in the MLS Cup final on Saturday night at BMO Field was the "triumphant culmination of an ambitious, and expensive, push" by club management over the past several years to rebuild the club around high-salaried players like F Jozy Altidore, MF Michael Bradley and F Sebastian Giovinco who "steadily lifted the club from MLS irrelevance to leaguewide dominance," according to Joel Petterson of the N.Y. TIMES. Giovinco and Altidore, acquired before the '15 season, "delivered on that investment" when they teamed to produce the eventual winning goal in the 67th minute (N.Y. TIMES, 12/10). In Toronto, Kurtis Larson wrote Altidore's opening score "validated MLSE's unprecedented investment" in him, Giovinco and Bradley -- all three of whom "cemented themselves as Toronto legends." Bradley was an investment for MLSE -- a player "brought in to change TFC's losing mentality." Altidore and Giovinco were "brought here to do what they did Saturday night: Come up big in a final." Former MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke "waited for the confetti to settle" before he took to the pitch hours after Saturday night's final. Arms wide open, Leiweke "posed inside a venue he built for a team he helped construct." He "wanted this championship for Bradley and Altidore and Giovinco -- three players he helped sign." Most of all, he has "talked about wanting it" for MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum (TORONTO SUN, 12/10).
A SEASON TO REMEMBER: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts wrote TFC's loss to the Sounders in last year's MLS Cup final drove the club "every step of the way to the greatest season in MLS history." Along the way to TFC's first championship, also the "first MLS Cup won by a Canadian MLS team," TFC "set a record for most points in the regular season." TFC is also the "first MLS team to win the treble -- an MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield and national club title" (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/10). In DC, Steven Goff noted several MLS teams have won two trophies in a year, but until Saturday, "not one had raised three of them" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/10).
ONE FOR THE FANS: In Toronto, Steve Simmons wrote Saturday night was also about a fan base that "adopted this franchise when there wasn't much reason to adopt anything, and didn't abandon them after years of embarrassing losing." The fans were "on board before anybody looked the part of [a] winner" (TORONTO SUN, 12/10). SPORTSNET.ca's John Molinaro wrote for "long-suffering TFC fans who stuck with the team during some very lean times ... Saturday's MLS Cup win was a long time coming." Altidore said, "These (fans) have been through a lot. ... The feeling of winning is great for all of us, but even more so for the fans who have been with this team since Day 1" (SPORTSNET.ca, 12/9).