SEATTLE — Walking around Seattle in the days leading to MLS Cup, a few things are clear: The weather, as advertised, isn't exactly sunny, the coffee is good, the people are quite friendly and you're washed over by green and blue.
Around MLS, that color combination is synonymous with the Sounders. Of course, the hometown team will host Toronto FC in MLS Cup on Sunday (3 pm ET | ABC, Univision, TUDN in US; TSN, TVAS in Canada) and there's a buzz on the streets. Around their home city, though, the colors are broader than just the Sounders: They also represent the Seahawks, Seattle's NFL franchise.
The synergy between the two teams, which share CenturyLink Field, is no coincidence and goes well past just a color scheme. And just like TFC's harmony with the NHL's Maple Leafs and NBA's Raptors, both city's MLS teams have taken a thing or two from the other sports, even if it's just the support between franchises.
“I wouldn’t say there’s one thing in particular, but their broad philosophical outlook," Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey told MLSsoccer.com. "(Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll is about as positive a person you’re ever going to get. If you watch how he interacts with the media, talks to his team, there’s this infectious spirit and embodiment of ‘we can do this.’ That’s consistent with what Seattle is."
The Seahawks, like the Sounders, have been a model franchise in their league. Carroll and star quarterback Russell Wilson, who is a minority owner of the Sounders, have led the team to consistent success. The Seahawks have made the playoffs in seven of the last nine years and are well on their way to do so again this year. They won the Super Bowl in 2013, too.
Meanwhile, the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals, the franchise's first triumph. The Maple Leafs have made the playoffs each of the last three years running.
"I’ve been able to spend a little bit of time, not as much as I want, getting to know people at the Leafs, the Raptors," TFC GM Ali Curtis said. "You have really driven, smart people that care, who are trying to operate clubs the best they can. That’s inspiring. There’s an energy you feed off in that regard, try to instill in our organization."
Curtis added that he went to a Leafs playoff game as well as a bunch of Raptors games.
"It’s been great to be apart of that family," Curtis said.
On Sunday, all eyes in both cities will be on MLS Cup.