The Seattle Sounders were once one of the marquee teams of the NASL – twice losing the Soccer Bowl to the New York Cosmos. Surprisingly Seattle was not an original MLS team, but was added for the league’s 14th season in 2009. Once again the Sounders became a marquee team by leading the league in attendance every year, making the playoffs each year (twice reaching the conference finals before losing the the Los Angeles Galaxy) and were led by USMNT Captain Cliff Dempsey whose jersey was the league’s top seller..
This year, however, was not shaping up to be a banner year for the team. After back-to-back losses against Portland (3-1) and Kansas City (3-0), the Sounders were near the conference cellar and fired their only coach in franchise history Even worse, the following month, Dempsey was sidelined and then ruled out for the remainder of the year due to an irregular heart beat.
Yet with new coach Brian Schmetzer and the addition of MLS Newcomer of the Year Uraguayan Nicolas Lodeiro the Sounders finished 12-3-4 to make the playoffs and win their first conference championship. They faced another MLS Cup newcomer Toronto FC , an explosive team that reached the MLS Cup with a 5-2 win over Montreal.
in the second coldest recorded MLS Cup at 28 degrees at kickoff. the Sounders survived to make it to penalty kicks despite not having a single shot on goal thanks to this remarkable save by goalie Stefan Frei that deflected a header from Toronto forward Jozy Altidore in extra time.
In the penalty kicks, it came down to defender Roman Torres, whose defense had kept the team alive, and he drilled a straight shot into goal for the winner.
Full game highlights and how each time reached the MLS Cup are below.