Seattle – Raul Ruidiaz scored on a deflected shot late in the first half, adding a second goal from a perfect counter attack in the 80th minute as the Seattle Sounders beat the Pumas 3-0 on Wednesday night to win the CONCACAF Champions League title.
The Sounders became the first team in Major League Soccer to claim club teams championships in North and Central America and the Caribbean since adopting the current format in 2008. Seattle was the fifth MLS team to reach the finals and the first to reach the finals. Work.
Nicolas Lodeiro added the final punctuation mark with his third goal of the final in the 88th minute, when he scored Seattle’s goal on penalty kicks last week in Mexico City after both sides drew 2-2. The title earned Seattle a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup and was added to the already-filled trophy case which includes a US Open Cup title, an MLS Supporter’s Shield and two MLS Cup titles.
Officially, Seattle won the two-stage final 5–2. But with the goal of not being a tiebreaker in the finals, whoever won the second leg outright in Seattle would be the champion.
Ruidiaz gave Seattle the lead in the 45th minute. His shot inside the penalty area deflected Pumas’ forward Diogo and caught goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera in the wrong direction. It sparked a celebration with a most record crowd of 68,761, cheering wildly to shake Lumen Field.
The second goal was even better. Precise pass from Jordan Morris to Lodeiro and then Ruidiaz left the striker in perfect position to defeat Talavera.
Lodeiro’s goal just added to the party and a 3–0 win was the biggest margin of victory in any CCL Finals match.
The sides were still 2-2 after a wild first leg. Pumas took a 2–0 lead thanks to two goals from the tournament’s top scorer, Juan Dineno. Seattle leveled off Lodeiro’s two penalty kick goals and eased the second leg. The second of Lodeiro’s two goals in Mexico City came in the ninth minute of stoppage time.
But Dineno was mostly calm in the second stage. His best chance was a free kick in the middle of the second half which missed the net. Seattle goalkeeper Stephen Frey made a brilliant save on Diogo’s free header in the 65th minute.
Frei was adjudged the overall player of the tournament.
Seattle managed to finish the spot where Real Salt Lake (2011), Montreal (2015), Toronto (2018) and LAFC (2020) had fallen short in the past as MLS teams reached the finals. Real Salt Lake and Montreal both returned home after drawing on the road against Ligamax opponents, only to lose at their home turf.
Seattle finished the tournament unbeaten in all eight matches of the knockout stage and went 2–0–2 against Ligamax clubs after defeating Lyon in the quarterfinals.