2016 USA Major League Soccer, Final
Seattle Sounders FC advance 5-4 on penalties
Seattle Sounders FC advance 5-4 on penalties

Seattle Sounders beat Toronto FC on penalties to win 2016 MLS Cup

The Seattle Sounders beat Toronto FC on penalty kicks Saturday to win the 2016 MLS Cup, the first MLS title in the club's history.

Roman Torres converted the winning penalty after Justin Morrow hit the crossbar, and the Sounders won the title without registering a single shot on goal during 120 minutes of regular and extra time.

Toronto striker Jozy Altidore nearly gave the hosts the perfect start in the second minute. The U.S. international chested the ball down to Sebastian Giovinco, who returned it to Altidore, but his left-footed shot skipped just wide of keeper Stefan Frei's goal.

Giovinco looked to Altidore again minutes later, the Italian dragging a pass across the area toward the penalty spot, but the Seattle defense cleared the ball to safety.

Seattle defender Torres went to the ground in the 27th minute after taking a Giovinco volley squarely to the side of the face, but the Sounders right-back returned after a brief spell on the sidelines.

Toronto had another chance in the 29th minute when Justin Morrow beat his defender on the left flank and delivered a lofted cross to the far post, but Altidore's headed effort went right to Frei.

The physical, back-and-forth first half ended goalless, with Toronto having the better of possession throughout the opening 45 minutes and outshooting the Sounders 7-0.

Giovinco had a great chance to start the second half after he was played into the penalty area after a Seattle turnover in its defensive third, but the Toronto striker's well-hit shot wound up in the side netting.

Seattle hit Toronto on the counterattack minutes after the Giovinco miss as Nelson Valdez found space and passed to Joevin Jones in the penalty area, but the Trinidad & Tobago international's return pass to Valdez was cleared from harm's way.

A midfield battle ensued for much of the second half, with neither team able to create legitimate scoring chances. Seattle manager Brian Schmetzer made two changes in the second half, with Alvaro Fernandez coming on for Erik Friberg and Andreas Ivanschitz replacing Valdez.

Toronto nearly found the winner after a corner kick in second-half injury time, but Frei punched the ball away from a hard-charging Altidore at the back post and the match went to extra time.

Both teams looked fatigued in the extra period and the dearth of quality chances continued initially, with Seattle having yet to register a shot on goal in the match.

Toronto manager Greg Vanney substituted Giovinco in the 103rd minute, bringing on journeyman Tosaint Ricketts to try to bring some life to the Reds' attack ahead of the end of the first extra-time period.

Schmetzer used his final substitution of the match to bring on Brad Evans in the 108th minute for MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris

Just after the substitution, Rickets nearly set up the winner in the second extra frame, beating his man to the end line and crossing in for Altidore, whose lofted header was tipped away from the upper-right corner of the goal on a miraculous save by Frei.

Neither team could find a goal, and the match went to just the fourth penalty-kick shootout in MLS Cup history.

With Toronto FC shooting first, Altidore opened the shootout with a well-taken PK and Sounders substitute Evans answered.

Bradley was next and rolled a soft shot too close to the middle of the goal that Frei saved, and then Ivanschitz put Seattle ahead.

Toronto sub Benoit Cheyrou converted, and the teams went back on level terms when Toronto keeper Clint Irwin saved Fernandez's shot.

Will Johnson and Drew Moor were next to score for Toronto, but Jones and Nicolas Lodeiro answered with powerful shots.

Then Morrow's shot hit the underside of the bar and stayed out, and Torres sent his shot high and a bit to Irwin's right to win the title for the Sounders.