Confetti, smoke bombs, goodbye posters and tears. Tonight’s game wasn’t short on any of those things. It was a storybook ending for the LA Galaxy, as they came away with the win 3-1 over Houston Dynamo. Many people said half way through the season that LA Galaxy wouldn’t be MLS Cup Champions again… Tonight they proved all of the haters and skeptics wrong. My recap of this extraordinary final is below.
As the whistle blew to start the game, both teams came out with a fire. Houston Dynamo started out with an intensity that LA couldn’t seem to match. For the first 10 minutes, the possession was all Houston. LA couldn’t get a foot on the ball no matter how hard they played. Josh Saunders had to step up in the early minutes to make a save.
Slowly, LA began to find their grove and play the kind of soccer you’d expect them to play. In the 12th minute Donovan missed a GLORIOUS chance to give LA the lead. Beckham made a great pass to Keane, who then opened up the play for Donovan… who put the ball just wide. LA had several chances to take the lead in the first 20 minutes, but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. In the 23rd minute, something magical happened. LA Galaxy fans did a cross chant of David Beckham. Talk about having cold chills!
As the final half was winding down Dynamo players let off the gas, and Galaxy players picked up their tempo. That didn’t stop Houston from taking advantage, in the 44th minute Calen Carr scored the first goal giving Houston the lead 1-0. The script was thus flipped, and LA had to claw their way back up in the second half.
In the final 45, LA picked up their play tremendously. They just couldn’t finish. No matter how hard the midfield and defenders tried to get the ball to Keane and Donovan’s feet, neither could put the ball in the back of the net. Houston was taking LA’s mistake and using them to their advantage. In the 55th minute, Houston’s Calen Carr had a killer header that Josh Saunders had to strive to save. After so many missed chances by LA, in the 60th minute none other than Omar Gonzalez scored the equalizer and it was GAME ON.
The momentum changed completely, the crowd picked up their spirits and this game was in the palm of LA’s hand. In the 64th minute, after a scramble in Houston’s box, LA drew a PK and Landon Donovan gave LA the lead of 2-1. If this is in fact Landon’s last game, he was going out in style. LA never gave up the fight, they had the smell of victory and they were going after it with all they had. In the final minutes of stoppage time Robbie Keane drew another PK, and gave LA the final push to be MLS Cup Champions. As the final whistle blew, LA became back to back MLS Cup Champions, and tears of joy were falling from LA fans’ faces.
With a crowd of 30,510 LA Galaxy gave their fans exactly what they wanted to see… and they sent Beckham; and possible Donovan, out in style. MVP of the game was awarded to the man who made this team what they were this season; none other than Omar Gonzalez. He made this team stronger, and better this year. There’s no doubt about that…
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to jam out to We Are The Champions while crying tears of joy for my team!