Sounders make history, beat Pumas for CCL championship

May 4, 2022, 9:05 PM | Updated: 11:51 pm

Making history is nothing new for the Seattle Sounders, but this may be their biggest entry into the history books yet.

Sounders 3 (5), Pumas 0 (2): Summary

Raul Ruidíaz scored just before halftime, then added another tally late in the second half to lead the Sounders over Pumas 5-2 on aggregate in the two-leg CONCACAF Champions League final. Seattle won the second leg on their home turf of Lumen Field 3-0 Wednesday night after tying Pumas in Mexico City 2-2 in the first leg last week.

With the championship victory, the Sounders become the first MLS team to win the current iteration of the CCL, which dates back to 2008. The CCL is an annual tournament of club teams in North and Central America as well as the Caribbean. MLS teams had reached the finals four times before, all coming up short until Seattle’s breakthrough.

“These are precious, precious moments. And then when you missed the opportunity a few times, you don’t want to do it too often,” Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei said, according to The Associated Press. “So I’m really happy we’re able to take care of this today and write history.”

The Sounders won the second leg in front of a thunderous crowd of 68,741, setting a CCL attendance record.

“It’s been a team effort to push us over the line,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Again, I can’t understate it, this is a hard tournament to win.”

Ruidíaz first found the goal in the 45th minute with the help of some misdirection to break the tie that the two teams had coming into the game.

Frei, who was named the overall player of the tournament, made a huge save to preserve a one-goal lead in the second half.

The Sounders then exhibited a masterclass of passing on a counterattack, and Ruidíaz had the perfect finish for his second goal in the 80th minute.

“It was a great team goal. We knew those spaces were going to open up a bit when they were pushing,” said Jordan Morris, who along with Alex Roldan and Nicolás Lodeiro helped set up the tally.

Lodeiro, who scored both of Seattle’s goals in the first leg, put the final on ice with the team’s third goal of the night in the 85th.

The three-goal win is the largest margin of victory ever in a CCL final match, per AP. Seattle finished unbeaten in the knockout stage of the CCL.

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