Sounders Cement Status As Elite Club With Second MLS Cup Win
The Sounders have settled any debate about whether they "should be considered an elite team in MLS" by winning their second MLS Cup title in four years, and now the "next phase of the discussion is whether the Sounders ought to be considered a dynasty," according to Caitlin Murray of PRO SOCCER USA (11/11). YAHOO SPORTS' Doug McIntyre wrote the "success of recent expansion juggernauts" like LAFC and Atlanta United has "taken some of the shine off a club that for most of the first decade of its top-flight existence was the league's undisputed standard bearer." But "no team in MLS, including Atlanta, boasts a stronger soccer history or more sophisticated fan base" than the Sounders (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/10). SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote this "may well be the Seattle Era in MLS." The Sounders have a "better claim to this era" than Toronto FC, and this Sounders run "may not be over." The roster Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey has put together is "stacked" (SI.com, 11/10).
TREND SETTERS: The GLOBE & MAIL's Cathal Kelly writes Toronto FC "created the blueprint" for MLS success -- "build a stadium downtown, make the game an outsider obsession, treat the team seriously." That blueprint now has been "replicated in Seattle, Portland, Atlanta and other places," even cities that "didn't care until quite recently." Now, the blueprint will be "replicated again in the five new franchises that join the league in the next few years." MLS cities that "put soccer at the centre of their sports culture are now the rule rather than the exception" (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/11).
CAPPING IT OFF: MLS Commissioner Don Garber said yesterday's final was "really a culmination of a great year for us." Garber said '19 was "really a season that had been capturing all the momentum of what's going on with soccer in North America." Garber: "We have the youngest fan base in all of pro sports. We have the largest percentage of Hispanic fans of any professional sport and all of that is leading to increased values" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 11/8).