TORONTO — With Sebastian Giovinco subbed off in the 103rd minute after feeling sub-par, Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney was looking for penalty-takers.
So when the 2016 MLS Cup final ended knotted at 0-0 after extra time, Vanney turned to veteran defender Drew Moor.
"I remember with about three minutes to go in overtime, I kind of looked around the field and I thought I might be in the top five in the penalties," said Moor.
"And Greg came up to me and said 'Hey, are you ready to take a penalty?' And I said 'Ask around a little bit.' And he kind of looked around, walked around for about 30 seconds, didn't say a word to anybody, came back up to me and said 'Hey do you want to take a penalty?' And I said 'Sure I'll take one.'
"So if I have to, I'll plan on stepping up and taking another one."
Moor made his kick but Toronto lost the shootout to Seattle 5-4. The two teams meet again in the championship game rematch Saturday at BMO Field.
Should it go to penalties, Toronto has another weapon this weekend in Victor Vazquez. The Spanish playmaker went 3-3 on spot kicks during the regular season but was denied by Columbus' Zack Steffen in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final.
Justin Morrow's penalty kick hit the crossbar in last year's shootout but the high-scoring wingback says he's up for the challenge again.
"It's a chance to put things right," he said.
Morrow has hardly put a foot wrong this season, earning a U.S. team callup as a result. He was a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year and a member of the league's Best XI.
"After the loss last year, it was devastating but I knew that we were going to have another good year this year," Morrow said. "I knew that the team was still in intact and that we added some key pieces and got better. So that was very encouraging during the off-season to know that in 2017 we were going to have another strong run at it."
One major change this season is Alex Bono in goal for Toronto. Bono stopped two of six penalty kicks this year, including the playoffs. Clint Irwin, now Bono's backup, was No. 1 last Season.
Seattle 'keeper Stefan Frei has given up goals on five of six penalty kicks this season.
Here's a look at how the 2016 shootout went:
1. In front of Toronto's hardcore fans in the south stand, Jozy Altidore steps up first and sends a low right-footed into the corner to the right of a diving Stefan Frei. Toronto 1 Seattle 0.
2. Brad Evans sidefoots a shot to the left of Clint Irwin, who dives the wrong way. Toronto 1 Seattle 1.
3. Michael Bradley's right-footed shot, too close to the 'keeper, is saved by Frei. Toronto 1 Seattle 1.
4. Andreas Ivanschitz sends Irwin the wrong way, slots it into the corner to the 'keeper's left. Toronto 1 Seattle 2.
5. Frei guesses right but Benoit Cheyrou's left-footed shot is too high for him to reach. Toronto 2 Seattle 2.
6. This time Irwin guesses right, diving left to parry Alvaro Fernandez's poorly placed kick. Toronto 2 Seattle 2.
7. Will Johnson sends Frei the wrong way, slots a powerful right-footed shot low to the keeper's right. Toronto 3 Seattle 2.
8. Joevin Jones fires a left-footed shot high into the corner above a diving Irwin. Toronto 3 Seattle 3.
9. Drew Moor's low right-footed shot beats Frei to the corner. Toronto 4 Seattle 3.
10. Nicolas Lodeiro keeps the shootout alive with a left-footed shot high above a diving Irwin. Toronto 4 Seattle 4.
11. Frei dives left and Justin Morrow hammers the ball high and down the middle, only to see it thud off the crossbar. Toronto 4 Seattle 4.
12. With the championship on the line, Irwin dives left and Roman Torres fires a right-footed shot high to the right. Game over. Toronto 4 Seattle 5.
Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Join the Discussion
We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.