SEATTLE -- The Seattle Sounders FC stepped off the plane Sunday champions. And the champions hoisted the MLS Cup high.
The team arrived around 3 p.m. at Boeing Field following Saturday's shootout victory over Toronto FC for the MLS Championship.
A crowd of more than 1,000 Rave Green supporters cheered Sounders FC players on as they arrived home. A live band greeted the players, as did a few local politicians.
The mood was jubilant and was reminiscent of past Seattle sports victories.
"This is bigger than the Super Bowl," one fan told reporter Janet Kim.
Players hoisted the cup in front of the fans once they deplaned, allowing many supporters the opportunity to hold the trophy. This is Sounders FC's first MLS Cup victory.
"It was a lot of hard work on a lot of peoples' parts," goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. "Now it's time to enjoy it."
A larger celebration is planned for Tuesday in downtown Seattle. The details of the celebration were expected to be released Monday.
For more interviews and MLS Cup reaction, watch video of the team returning.