2017 Year In Review: December

2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: December

One game remained.

The 2017 MLS Cup Final would be played at BMO Field between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders FC, the same two that had met in similar circumstances almost exactly one year before. This time, however, would be different.

Toronto got to this stage together, 'All for One' one might say. It was the rematch they desired all season long. 

Heading in the major question was the fitness of Jozy Altidore after his conference final heroics. He never doubted; no injury could hold him back that he had already proven.

Alex Bono, having excelled in his first post-season, was ready for the challenge, while the acquisition of Victor Vazquez, billed as the difference maker, loomed large as Toronto sought revenge.

A first-ever treble was on the mind, trust in the process supreme. Redemption awaited, the cold breeze on the shores of Lake Ontario of no concern.

Toronto was up for it, raising the intensity to levels Seattle had yet to encounter, but their goalkeeper Stefen Frei stood in the way, making save after save as TFC played the Sounders all but off the park on through the opening hour. 

The one time that Eriq Zavaleta's former landlord, Clint Dempsey, escaped Michael Bradley's pocket, Chris Mavinga was over like an octopus to halt any forward progress.

Come the 67th minute, one that will live long in the memory, Altidore would be the difference once more, earning MLS Cup MVP honours in the process. 

Marky Delgado broke up a Seattle play, touching to Drew Moor who found Bradley in the middle. He played to Justin Morrow, who found Vazquez turned to face the other way.

Vazquez played to Sebastian Giovinco on the turn and it was his ball that sent in Altidore. One- and two-touch all the way, a team effort, capped off by the finish. It was over then and there.

Just as the celebrations were about to ignite, Giovinco found Armando Cooper in space. His effort would rebound off the post, but Vazquez was on hand to cap off his first season in MLS, the best year of his career, with yet another goal.

It was a move began by Benoit Cheyrou's calm intervention, the veteran signing off with style and grace; a champion.

An emphatic 2-0 win saw Toronto crowned MLS Cup Champions, the first from Canada to accomplish the feat, completing the legendary treble.

Giovinco, his good luck charm, and Jason Hernandez achieved that which they came here for, though one had to wait a little longer for their cup.

All exited the stage as champions, the celebrations well underway.

The party would carry on into the night, and the next day, and the next day. A parade was held in their honour; speeches were made.

A year's worth of effort having come to fruition, now is the time for rest. But the next challenge, the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League fast approaches. Be ready.

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