The Seattle Sounders will raise their first MLS Cup flag before Sunday's home opener with the New York Red Bulls at CenturyLink Field. The Sounders claimed the title with a win over Toronto FC in the 2016 championship game.
The Sounders (0-1-1) finished the 2016 season by winning nine of their last 11 MLS home games. They kept six clean sheets on that run.
Will Bruin's late equalizer last week against Montreal snapped a streak of 17 straight regular season appearances without a goal. Bruin has 51 MLS regular-season goals in 180 regular season appearances.
"The team did a great job last year of winning the MLS Cup -- it's what the city deserved with the support that they've had over the years," Clint Dempsey said.
"It was great for the team to be able to bring them that championship. We're looking forward to this season and trying to repeat that and hopefully I can play more of a part in it."
Dempsey's season ended in August because of an irregular heartbeat.
New York (2-0) is one of four teams and the only one in the Eastern Conference, that has won its first two matches. It is the third time the club has won two consecutive out of the gate. New York has never started the season with three-straight wins.
New York also enters the match on an 18-game unbeaten streak in the MLS regular season, dating to July of 2016. The MLS record is 19 games, shared by Columbus and FC Dallas. Columbus' streak also spanned two seasons.
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press