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LISTEN: The 2017 MLS season comes down to this... Seattle vs. Toronto, an MLS Cup rematch that might just be the best final of all-time, depending on who you ask. Will the Sounders repeat? Will the Reds lay claim the best season of all-time? David Gass and Sam Stejskal get things started from the Six, and Andrew and Matt finish things off from the Green Room back in NYC. Subscribe so you never miss a show! Download this episode!
Welcome to another edition of "Discuss," in which MLSsoccer.com editors debate the topics of the moment in MLS.
It's that time of year. MLS Cup is two days away, as Toronto FC once again host the Seattle Sounders, this time looking to avenge last year's shootout loss (4 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás; TSN, TVAS). That makes this week's "Discuss" a pretty straightforward one: Who will win MLS Cup and why?
Taylor Twellman says the pressure's on Toronto:
Whether that's true or not, we'll see Saturday. On to the picks, from Editor-in-Chief Simon Borg, Senior Editors Ben Couch and Nicholas Rosano, New Media Editor Ben Baer, and Contributors Charles Boehm and Dave Zeitlin.
BAER: 2-1 Seattle
It was #Baeranteed on Monday’s ETR and the Sounders will go back-to-back thanks to some special play from Cristian Roldan.
BOEHM: 2-1 Toronto (AET)
In MLS' limited history of MLS Cup rematches, no team has ever gotten revenge by defeating the team that beat them in the first meeting. But I think the Reds will get it done this time, in part because of the quality and diversity of their attack (I'll be keeping a particular eye on Victor Vazquez) and in part because Seattle's 2016 win at BMO Field was such an outlier in a game where home-field advantage tends to matter a great deal.
BORG: 2-0 Seattle
From afar Toronto has looked like a team playing nervous throughout the 2017 playoffs and you can’t help but feel that the expectations of following up a record-breaking season with a long-awaited title have been weighing on them. Playing the final at home ratchets up the pressure for a team already wound real tight. That sets things up perfectly for the defending champion Sounders who are confident, loose and playing some of their best soccer of the season.
COUCH: 3-1 Toronto
They’ve chased history successfully all season, and won’t stop now. The treble is theirs.
ROSANO: 1-0 Toronto (AET)
It's a final and much like last year, it'll be a tight one. But "The Save" was a once in a decade moment. Not saying that Stefan Frei isn't still capable of the spectacular, just that this time – deep into extra time – Toronto put that chance away.
ZEITLIN: 1-0 Toronto
With bad weather expected, the game may look similar to last year's final with neither team generating too much offense. But Toronto is too good, and Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley too motivated by recent failures, to lose a second straight MLS Cup final at home. And something says even in freezing temperatures and snow and wind, Sebastian Giovinco still finds a way to create at least one moment of brilliance.