Stefan Frei named MLS Cup Most Valuable Player

It could’ve only been Stefan Frei.

On a night when his teammates didn’t take a single shot on goal, Frei carried the Seattle Sounders to the MLS Cup title on Saturday, making seven saves in regular and extra time and another in the penalty kick shootout to power Seattle to a 0-0 (5-4) victory in the title game at Toronto FC.

After the match, the 30-year-old goalkeeper was rewarded as MLS Cup Most Valuable Player.

Frei, who spent the first five years of his career in Toronto before being traded to Seattle ahead of the 2014 season, made his biggest save in the second period of extra time. Toronto forward Jozy Altidore rose to meet a Tosaint Ricketts cross in the center of the box, looping a header toward the top corner. Frei, who was drifting right with the flight of the ball, quickly changed direction, leaping to his left and reaching backward to paw Altidore’s effort off the line with his left hand for one of the best saves in MLS Cup history.

One of the better goalkeepers in MLS throughout his time in Seattle, Frei appeared in 33 games in the 2016 regular season, recording eight shutouts. He was stellar in the playoffs, allowing just three goals and keeping four clean sheets in six postseason matches. 

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