Stefan Frei: Sounders have 'immense opportunity' to achieve something special

If Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei has his way, he won't win the MLS Cup MVP award again.

He hopes one of his teammates gets the award, which would likely mean the Sounders won and his teammate did something special. Like scoring a goal.

Which is more Seattle didn't do in 2016. Heck, it didn't even get off a shot on target during the 120 minutes.



The Sounders, who won the 2016 final on penalty kicks, head into Saturday's MLS Cup rematch against Toronto FC in fine form. They've scored seven goals in their last three games and have not given up a goal in their last six games, four games in the playoffs and the last two games in the regular season, during which their margin of victory has been 13-0.

Seattle has a lot of attacking players capable of an MVP performance. Clint Dempsey. Nicolas Lodeiro. Will Bruin. Joevin Jones. Cristian Roldan. Victor Rodriguez though he might not start. Jordan Morris off the bench.

Frei hasn't been too shabby either. He hasn't had to save the Sounders like he did in second-half stoppage time of last year's MLS Cup when he reached back and swatted away Jozy Altidore's shot. But the Seattle goalkeeper has yet to allow a goal in the 2017 postseason, extending his scoreless streak to a playoff-record 647 minutes.

"For us," Frei said in a conference call with national media on Tuesday, "we try to make it a point of being in control defensively. Making things more predictable. Organizing, rather than shouting when things have not gone our way. Being a bit more proactive when it comes to those things. Organization and tactical awareness as a squad and the way our coach has prepared us has helped in that aspect."

The 31-year-old keeper said the Sounders aren't going to play for another 0-0 game on Saturday but they have no intention of making Saturday's final a wide-open game.

“That would be counterproductive to the way we play and what is best for us," he said. "When we find ourselves playing good games is when we are defensively sound, organized and very disciplined. One thing that is different from last year is that we’ve grown offensively. We have multiple guys up top that are very dangerous."

Frei said he and his teammates have talked about their chance to repeat, something only three MLS teams have done -- D.C. United (1996-97), Houston Dynamo (2006-07) and LA Galaxy (2011-12).

"We actually hold a lot of respect for those squads because it’s very difficult to accomplish," he said, "and we find ourselves with an opportunity to do something similar so I think the whole squad realizes that this is an immense opportunity and we are very excited for the chance to achieve it.”

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