Excitement in Toronto as FC heads into MLS final of firsts
Taline McPhedran, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:05AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:41AM EST
Toronto FC will finally get their shot at becoming MLS champions on Saturday night as they take on the Seattle Sounders in a winner-takes-all game.
Hosting the MLS final is a first for Toronto since the team started playing in 2007. Tickets for the championship game sold out in just three minutes after going on sale, with 36,000 people expected to take in the game at BMO field Saturday night.
This will also be the first time that both Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders play for the MLS championship title. Toronto FC failed to qualify for the playoffs from 2007 to 2014 before making it to the first ‘knockout round’ in 2014. A nail-biting win against Montreal Impact propelled the team to the finals this year.
“The buzz in Canada these last few weeks has been incredible, it’s been unprecedented,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber during a news conference.
The Seattle Sounders have had better luck, making the playoffs every year since their inception in 2009. The team has played in five conference semifinals and two conference finals but have never moved on to the final before this year.
The two teams will make history just as the game itself could make history. This final will be the latest MLS final ever held, the previous record being Dec. 7 in 2013 and 2014.
And if Toronto’s forecast is any indication, it also has the potential to be the coldest final ever held, with temperatures expected to be at -4 C (feeling more like -9 C) at the start of the game.
But none of that matters to members of Toronto’s squad.
“We’re excited to compete, we’re excited to play,” said Clint Irwin, goalkeeper for FC. “This is what Toronto sports are all about.”
Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET.