From his cushy loveseat couch at home, Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei intently watched the MLS Eastern Conference finals Wednesday.
Every Montreal goal got him excited.
Every Toronto answer deflated him.
“It was nerve-racking,” Frei said Thursday after training at Starfire Sports.
In the end, Toronto FC’s 5-2 overtime win at BMO Field meant home-field advantage for the MLS Cup would stay in the East with the Reds.
“Once it was clear that Toronto pretty much had it in the bag, at that point, you kind of calmed down,” Frei said. “You were happy it was over, because you knew what was going to happen.”
The Sounders meet Toronto FC on Dec. 10 in the MLS finals.
Of course, Seattle players and coaches were certainly pulling for a home match in the MLS Cup. One of them was coach Brian Schmetzer, who watched the Toronto-Montreal match from his living room.
“It was an exciting soccer game,” Schmetzer said. “(And afterward), I was little bummed that it’s not here. At the end of the day, we could not control what happened in that match.”
The second-leg Eastern Conference finals match certainly was entertaining with all of its scoring.
What was also pretty scary is that the Reds tallied seven of the final 10 goals scored in the series.
They are blessed with two electrifying forwards in Italian star Sebastian Giovinco, a mighty-mite playmaker at 5-foot-4, and American Jozy Altidore, who is a member of the U.S. men’s national team.
The duo has combined to take 43 shots on goal in five matches. Altidore has scored five times; Giovinco has four goals.
“Their attacking core is pretty good, and in good form,” Sounders defender Chad Marshall said. “They show if you get disorganized, and the game gets too spread out. they have the (one-on-one) ability, and the speed to really pick you apart.”
Even still on Thursday, reserve forward Herculez Gomez was shaking his head at what he saw in the Toronto-Montreal finale, calling it an MLS playoff “classic.”
“If you would have told me Montreal would have gone into BMO Field and scores two away goals, I’d think ... we are playing the MLS Cup in Seattle,” Gomez said. “But soccer is not like that. It’s not about what you think. It is about actions, and being solid for 90 minutes, or more.”