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Seattle defeats Toronto in penalty kicks to win MLS Cup
Last Updated: 2016-12-11 19:21 | Xinhua
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Seattle Sounders FC needed a shootout round to defeat Toronto FC 0-0 (5-4 in penalties) to capture their first ever Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup on Saturday night.

Despite the weather being -2 degrees Celsius, a stadium-record of 36,045 fans at BMO Field witnessed the first ever MLS Cup Final to finish without a goal after 120 minutes of action.

After the first five rounds of the shootout resulted in a 4-4 tie, Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow began the sixth round with a shot that was denied by the crossbar. With the chance to secure the title, Seattle defender Roman Torres seized the opportunity with a strike down the middle that found the back of the net.

"I think it is going to take a while for it to sink in," said head coach Brian Schmetzer following the victory. "I'm sure that in another ten years from now I'll be able to really reflect and make sure that I really soak this in, it was a tremendous moment and one that may never come around again."

The moment was not always a certainty, as the team struggled in the first half of the season with a 6-12-2 record under former coach Sigi Schmid. On July 26, Schmid left on mutual terms with the team, resulting in Schmetzer being promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach.

Under Schmetzer, the team finished 8-2-4 to close out the season and secure a spot in the knockout round of the playoffs as the league's seventh ranked team. After a 1-0 victory over No. 8 ranked Sporting Kansas City in the knockout round, Schmetzer's squad defeated No. 1 seed FC Dallas and No. 2 ranked Colorado Rapids in consecutive home-and-home series to secure their place in Saturday's final.

"They have been resilient for a long time," the 54-year-old Schmetzer reflected on the team's season. "I think at the beginning of this year when we started out in preseason we knew we had a good team, a veteran team and the reasons for the slow start, we can pick that apart, I think the base was always there."

With the win, Seattle becomes the 11th franchise to lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy since the league's inception in 1996. In 21 seasons, Los Angeles Galaxy leads the way with five titles, while D.C United has four.

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