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Teams seek first championship in North American league

Reporter: Jonas Gilbart 丨 CCTV.com

12-09-2016 14:55 BJT

For the first time in MLS history the title clash will be played north of the 49th parallel. This Saturday, Toronto's BMO Field will host the Cup Final with Toronto FC welcoming the Seattle Sounders. It is the first appearance in a championship match for the history making team from Canada as it is for their opponent from the Pacific Northwest.

There was warming up and trying to stay warm for Toronto FC ahead of Saturday's finale. The chilly December weather, belying the fire the hosts will be bringing into the MLS Cup match where head coach Greg Vanney says they plan to put their opponents from Seattle firmly on the back foot.

"The emphasis is really on ourselves. If we play the way we want to play...they have to deal with us. They have to adjust to us," said Greg Vanney, Toronto FC head coach.

And much of that adjustment is dealing with Toronto's Big Three of captain Michael Bradley and MLS Playoff goalscoring leaders Seb Giovinco and Jozy Altidore. A key part of Seattle's gameplan will be to contain the talented trio something Altidore knows very well.

"There will be some good battles for sure. But it's about the team...and hopefully it's one to remember," Altidore said.

And there is that unique history awaiting FC if they can get the job done at home: a first Canadian side to become an MLS champion. They have already etched their name in the record books by reaching the final but the club's spiritual leader says thay are far from satisfied. 

"There's a real sense of pride that we represent not just the club but Toronto sports...we represent something much bigger," said Michael Bradley, Toronto FC captain.

Despite being without star Clint Dempsey the talisman sidelined for the season with a heart issue. Seattle found enough to march through the West, knocking off Colorado in the final. A big part of their run through the post season has been the play of Nicolas Lodeiro the Argentine is tied for the playoff scoring lead with FC stars Altidore and Giovinco.

The Sounders also have a new voice on the touchline in Brian Schmetzer who replaced longtime skipper Sigi Schmid mid-season and the results have been wonderful.

There is no doubt that emotions for Toronto FC will be running high on Saturday. their fans, their stadium their best chance to become MLS Champions. It is a dream scenario for the Reds, but standing in their way still remains the Seattle Sounders. And tomorrow, we will focus on the crew from Cascadia, as they look to make some history of their own right here North of the Border. Reporting from Toronto and the MLS Cup Final

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