Sunday, November 20, 2011

LA Galaxy win 1-0 to claim their third MLS Cup title

By Money Mike

After choking in the MLS Cup playoffs the last two years, the Los Angeles Galaxy have finally won an MLS Cup title in the Beckham era. The Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in what could be David Beckham's final game with the LA Galaxy. 30,281 filled up the Home Depot Center. Most of which were hoping that Beckham would end his LA Galaxy career with an MLS Championship (if this were to be his last game with LA), and a couple weeks ago, I said that if this were to be his final match and the Galaxy didn't win the Cup, this would've been an epic fail following the Cup final defeat here in Seattle against Real Salt Lake in 2009 and a 3-0 beating they got from FC Dallas in the 2010 Western Conference final. But after the final was all said and done, the Galaxy came out on top and lift the Trophy for the third time in their history.

LA nearly opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Adam Cristman, who made 11 appearances and scored only one goal, was found unmarked off a David Beckham corner kick, but he couldn't get his header on target, missing wide of the right post. Cristman was getting the start in place of Chad Barrett after Barrett dislocated his ankle earlier this week during practice.

Cristman had another chance in minute 27. David Beckham sent another dangerous ball into the penalty area. Cristman got up and again headed the ball off the mark before colliding with goalkeeper Tally Hall.

Houston struggled to test LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who had been filling in for Donovan Ricketts in the 2nd half of the season since Ricketts suffered a broken hand back on July 2nd against the San Jose Earthquakes. The best chance they had came in the 43rd minute. Calen Carr sent a very good ball out wide to the right for Danny Cruz. Cruz then cut to his left foot and ripped a low drive, but it was right at Saunders. Again, that was just about the best chance the Dynamo had in this match.

A minute later, the Galaxy had another chance to break the tie. Robbie Keane found Mike Magee in the box, but the opportunity came to waste as Magee's left footed shot flew well over the bar.

In the 49th minute, Robbie Keane had a golden opportunity to put LA on top. Keane ran onto a loose ball that caromed off Luiz Camargo's head, but he trickled a shot wide of the far post.

In the 72nd minute, the LA Galaxy finally got their goal. Robbie Keane picked out Landon Donovan with a beautiful through ball in the box. Donovan lifted the ball over Tally Hall and into the far corner. Geoff Cameron tried to clear the ball of the line, but he wasn't fast enough and you knew that there was no way back for the Dynamo with the lack of chances they had in the game. The Galaxy were knocking on the door and with over 18 minutes to go, they get the goal that turned out to be the winner.

For Landon Donovan, that was his 20th career postseason goal and his forth all-time in the MLS Cup as he continues to add to his amazing career. Donovan is the all-time leading goalscorer in LA Galaxy history, he's the all time greatest goalscorer in U.S. national team history and he has now won four MLS Cup titles in his career and there is still more milestones to reach in years to come for the 29-year old.

Scoring summary:

Los Angeles Galaxy - Landon Donovan (Robbie Keane, David Beckham)

Misconduct summary:

Houston Dynamo - Bobby Boswell (caution; Handball)

Los Angeles Galaxy - Adam Cristman (caution; Reckless tackle)

Houston Dynamo - Andre Hainault (caution; Reckless foul)

Los Angeles Galaxy - David Beckham (caution; Tactical foul)

Los Angeles Galaxy - Landon Donovan (caution; Delaying a restart)


Houston Dynamo - Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Jermaine Taylor; Danny Cruz (Colin Clark 78'), Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat, Corey Ashe (Je-Vaughn Watson 84'); Brian Ching, Calen Carr (Carlo Costly 66')

Los Angeles Galaxy - Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee; Adam Cristman (Chris Birchall 57'), Robbie Keane

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