Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei knows better than most that opportunities like this can't be taken for granted.

The veteran backstop has been fortunate enough to compete for four out of the last five MLS Cups, winning two of them, in addition to helping the 2014 Sounders win the U.S. Open Cup and Supporters' Shield double.

Now, Seattle have a golden opportunity to add to that haul during Wednesday night's Leagues Cup Final against Liga MX side Club León at Allegiant Stadium (10 pm ET | ESPN, UniMas, TUDN).

Speaking to reporters before the Sounders departed for Las Vegas, Frei emphasized the importance of capitalizing on these moments when they present themselves.

"There's very, very few opportunities to win silverware," the 35-year-old said. "So, this is one of them and we didn't just come to the training pitch and make silly and now we have a trophy. This is one that everybody knows what the trophy means, good opponents and it's an opportunity. I think as a team, but also as an individual player, the legacy that you leave behind will be judged on the silverware that you brought throughout your time, so this is an opportunity to put another one in the trophy case.

"I don't think we need any extra motivation for this game. If people don't know what's at stake here, whether it be the hardware, whether it be the [prize money], whether it be the bragging rights – whatever guys can find to make themselves tick, I think it's there."


Seattle have already bested two Liga MX foes to reach this point, first toppling Tigres UANL 3-0 in the quarterfinals before their dramatic 1-0 semifinal victory over Santos Laguna was fueled by a last-gasp game-winner from Raul Ruidiaz.

The championship bout will feature a whole new variable, however. Both of those previous Leagues Cup victories came within the friendly confines of Lumen Field, while Wednesday's final will unfold at a neutral venue that primarily houses the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders. It also hosted this summer's Concacaf Gold Cup title game, which the US men's national team won 1-0 over Mexico.

Playing in the shiny new facility, which opened in July 2020, adds to the luster of the event.

"The bigger, the crazier, the better because this is what you dream of as a kid," Frei said. "That stadium, I love our stadium, but that stadium is a state-of-the-art, brand new stadium that has all the bells and whistles, so what a dream to be able to walk out there and hopefully perform well."

There's also the chance to make history. With a victory on Wednesday, Seattle would be the first MLS team to win Leagues Cup, with Liga MX's Cruz Azul emerging victorious from the inaugural iteration in 2019. Last year's event was then canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a club that prides itself on ambition, Frei said the match is a perfect opportunity for Seattle to further stake their claim as one of MLS' standard-bearers. Since entering MLS in 2009, they've won two MLS Cups, one Supporters' Shield and four U.S. Open Cups.

"It's one of the reasons why I came here," Frei said. "I was kind of set on trying to see what would happen in Europe after Toronto but I found out on my honeymoon that the Sounders were interested and the fact that this is a club that has big ambitions, is always fighting for trophies, is one of the main parts why I wanted to come here.

"And I think I was trying to tell this to some of the young guys that haven't been here for so long that you're seeing more and more in our league, that teams in our league are getting up for it against us because they're seeing us as a measuring stick, as a team they want to compete against, whether it's LA Galaxy from way back in the day, LAFC, Kansas City, Portland, Vancouver, Dallas — these teams are all measuring themselves up against us. So that means you have a high standard and that's what you want to be a part of, a team that is gunning for trophies."