Seattle Sounders contest the 2019 MLS Cup final against Toronto FC on home soil on Sunday.
The meeting at CenturyLink Field will be the third MLS Cup final between the two teams in the last four seasons. Toronto were 2-0 winners when they last met at this stage in 2017. Powerhouse centre-forward Jozy Altidore, a goalscorer two years ago, remains a formidable presence up top, but there are doubts over his fitness.
A healthy Altidore is a player to watch, but the same can also be said of Seattle striker Raul Ruidiaz and dynamic midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro. The Sounders don't often lose in front of the home faithful and qualified for another showpiece occasion after a superb win over Los Angeles FC in the Western Conference Final.
Date: Sunday, November 10
Time: 3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. GMT
TV Info: ABC, TSN4 (Canada), Sky Sports Football
- Seattle: -110 (bet $110 to win $100)
- Toronto: +290 (bet $100 to win $290)
- Draw: +265
Odds per Caesars
Ruidiaz and Lodeiro have 18 goals combined this season. The prolific duo accounted for all three of Seattle's goals against Los Angeles, with Ruidiaz helping himself to a brace.
Lodeiro's seventh goal of the campaign added to the 12 assists he's also supplied as the creative heartbeat for Brian Schmetzer's squad.
A potent attack has also benefited from Ruidiaz's fellow forward Jordan Morris finding the net on 10 occasions. Having this many match-winners in the final third is the main reason the Sounders are firm favourites.
Their case is also helped by the doubts surrounding Altidore. He's been dealing with a quadriceps strain, but Greg Vanney has been keen to move focus away from his star striker, per Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star: "He'll get involved in training today and we'll see where he's at. But I'd like the emphasis on the team and not just Jozy."
Armstrong noted how Alejandro Pozuelo was a two-goal hero in relief of Altidore against New York City FC in the Eastern Conference last four. Even so, there is no doubt Altidore's strength on the deck and aggression in the air would boost Toronto's chances.
Vanney's men relied on goals from Nicolas Benezet and Nick DeLeon to see off Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference Final. Yet it will take a stubborn rearguard action, along with more guile and craft from Pozuelo, to help Toronto produce an upset.