And sometimes, someone just sticks out a knee.
The Seattle Sounders pulled off a remarkable 3-1 win over Toronto FC to win their second MLS Cup at a jam-packed CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon. Seattle were the clear favorites heading in, if only by a hair. After that play, the momentum shifted back to the Reds.
"The first goal kind of started us going", Schmetzer said. "We were able to find our footing, and our team's a unsafe team".
This was the first of the three at CenturyLink Stadium. These two teams have now contested three of the last four MLS Cups, the Sounders edging the series 2-1.
Kelvin Leerdam scored goal in an MLS Cup match for the Sounders. But as is always the case in finals, there is only one thing that matters: the result. But how did the Seattle Sounders secure the 3-0 victory?
Familiar names, then. Still, both teams defied the odds to reach this showpiece. Toronto, who had finished fourth in the Eastern Conference, stunned the East winners, New York City FC, and Atlanta, both on the road.
In the first half, Toronto FC dominated.
Each club's presence on this stage, then, was arguably a triumph for adaptability, stubbornness and the timely seizing of major moments, rather than the kind of consistent excellence that is rewarded over the course of a season-long grind.
At 32, he can be hustled out of relevance, but in the first half here he was afforded a generous amount of room to float languid-looking diagonal balls, and pop up unmolested in promising spaces in the final third.
Still, it has to hurt badly for the architects of this team over the last five years: Vanney, Altidore and especially Bradley, who may have played his last game for the club. A Federation Internationale de Football Association global break starts Monday and goes through November 19, meaning numerous Sounders' best players will quickly need to join their national teams and won't be able to participate in the parade. Heart-and-soul captain Michael Bradley was everywhere, breaking up plays on the rare occasions the Sounders had the ball; TFC controlled an astounding 65 percent of the possession in the first half.
As he has in years past against Toronto, veteran Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei held firm, at one point punching a Toronto corner out of the air, and at another making a diving save on one of Nicolas Benezet's three shots of the half. The Sounders started coming on around the 18-minute mark.
Despite the introduction of Toronto striker Jozy Altidore off the bench, Seattle doubled their lead with 14 minutes remaining thanks to a fine strike from the edge of the box from Sounders substitute Rodriguez.