Toronto FC put in a shiny effort befitting of the occasion, as they made league history by completing a domestic treble with their first MLS Cup triumph thanks to a confident 2-0 victory over defending champs Seattle on Saturday.
Major League Soccer Coach of the Year Greg Vanney expertly plotted the victory, which was spurred on by the consistently outstanding play of the team's deep midfield triangle. Even if the scoreboard remained tight until late, the Reds were always behind the wheel and driving to the record books.
Alex Bono (6.5) - The TFC netminder had very little to do until the waning moments, when he snagged a couple of loose balls in a late show of area awareness.
Steven Beitashour (7.5) - The Reds right back was aces on both sides of the ball. Beitashour grabbed possession in the home end 10 times and was ably supported the attack up his flank.
Drew Moor (7.5) - The veteran superbly kept the game (and Will Bruin) in front of him at all times, and ushered several crosses away. Moor could have played the headline hero, but got the math all wrong on an early doorstep header.
Chris Mavinga (6.5) - The Frenchman was the least busy TFC defender, but he proved capable when called upon.
Justin Morrow (6.5) - It was decent outing for the left back, who never really translated flank bursts into final third efficiency. Morrow was a persistent overlap cause for concern, though, and was solid defensively.
Michael Bradley (8.5) - More than anything else, it's been a while since the skipper was this dominant defensively. He repeatedly stepped in to halt Seattle when they approached the Toronto FC box, and piled up a sweet sum of 25 total defensive stops. Bradley emphasized function when on the ball, but that was plenty good on this night.
Marky Delgado (7.5) - Part of the reason Bradley was able to mop up so prolifically was Delgado's added defensive pressure in central midfield. He helped spring the transition game and kept it simple moving forward.
Jonathan Osorio (8) - This outing from Osorio was the definition of rock solid. He was always available for outlets from the back, positively moved the ball and forced six turnovers near the midfield stripe during an outstanding opening half.
Victor Vazquez (6) - Yes, he got a late scramble goal, but after an early diagonal gem pass, his overall lack of spark was surprising. Vazquez served a few too many low restarts, and was more of a possession player than a back line locksmith in this one.
Sebastian Giovinco (7) - After suffering a quiet title match last year, Giovinco made sure to stay busy prodding at the Seattle defense and it paid off with the championship-winning assist.
Jozy Altidore (7.5) - A historic night deserves a memorable dagger and Altidore coolly applied it with his left peg. Up until that point, his hold-up play was largely serviceable.
Coach Greg Vanney (9) - The TFC boss switched things up for this one, and the surprise shift to a 4-4-2 worked like a charm in an assured, patient victory. His keeper was hardly bothered and his attack kept the switch flipped on all night. When the winner finally came, his side had 62 percent possession, a 10-2 shots on goal edge and had won 42 of 60 duels. This victory was in the first-degree, highly premeditated by Vanney.
Armando Cooper (6.5) - In what could have been a mere cameo, he broke in to hit the post in setting up the clinching goal.
Nick Hagglund (-) - A late sub, no more.
Benoit Cheyrou (-) - See Hagglund.
Stefan Frei (8) - The Seattle backstop kept up his form from last season's MLS Cup win, chalking up nine saves of decent quality. Frei kept his side in the game as long as he could.
Kelvin Leerdam (6.5) - There were stretches leading up to the goal when Leerdam was the Sounders' main source of field tilt, but he was unable to translate his advances into successful crosses. The away right back was busy and fairly sturdy at the back.
Roman Torres (6) - For the first hour of play, Torres was excellent at repelling crosses and high entry feeds. He and his central partner do get a demerit for allowing the gap that Altidore exploited on the winner.
Chad Marshall (5) - In addition to the mistake mentioned just above, Marshall also lost a stray long diagonal and it turned into a big chance for the Reds. Other than that, it was a lukewarm outing.
Joevin Jones (5.5) - The left back needed to see more of the ball, and to do better with it when he did get into attack positions. Jones made several stops in his own end, but also fell asleep back there a couple times.
Gustav Svensson (4) - Due to volume, Svensson eventually racked up a dozen defensive stops, but there were long troubling stretches when TFC were traveling up the gut far too comfortably.
Cristian Roldan (5.5) - After a noticeably ineffectual opening period, Roldan was much better at sticking his nose into the action after the break.
Nicolas Lodeiro (5) - Quite simply, Seattle's quarterback never found the handle on this game. The Reds midfielders and tactics conspired to keep him well under lock-and-key.
Clint Dempsey (5) - The effort was there and he linked pretty well at times, but Dempsey never looked like he would conjure any magic.
Victor Rodriguez (4.5) - 'Twas the night that Rodriguez was no stirring creature. He was quiet as a mouse until making way in the 71st minute.
Will Bruin (4) - The striker lost a few touches early and then found himself all sewn up by Moor from there on out. He never gave the visitors a chance to build.
Coach Brian Schmetzer (4) - Unlike Vanney's lineup gambit, the dice roll did not work out for his Sounders opposite. Schmetzer broke up a back line with the longest shutout streak in playoff history and concealed one of his big weapons by moving Jones back to defense. After the unamusing tone of the game settled, he never offered an adjustment.
Jordan Morris (6) - What can you do with a handful of midfield possession touches?
Nouhou Tolo (-) - They probably needed him out there longer than a couple minutes.