Beckham, Donovan and Keane – Galaxy Stars win MLS Cup

The Major League Soccer season came to a close on Sunday night in the showpiece of the season, the MLS Final between the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. With talk before the kickoff of this potentially being David Beckhams last game in the MLS and the high profile stars in the Galaxy side of Donovan and Keane it was easy to forget that there was another team playing.

With the game being held at LA’s home stadium, and with their massive crowd behind them it was almost as if Houston were just going to be there making up the numbers. Indeed that is how it was for the first half with predictably the LA in constant attack mode with Houston soaking up the pressure and breaking when it was an option. Houston had lost to the LA in the regular season away fixture by a single goal, which was actually a Donovan penalty so it would not be unheard of for the Dynamo to lock them out from open play.

Houston looked nervous at the start, failing to control passes, keep possession and making errors in their own half on more than one occasion. To be fair though, it was LA who were their own worst enemy having numerous chances but failing convert a single one. Cristman was the most guilty of the Galaxy, missing at least three clear cut chances to put the favorites ahead. It would remain goalless going into the half and at this point the game was reminding me of the FA Cup Semi Final between the two Manchester sides. In that United had early pressure and looked most likely to score but City would pounce on a rare United error and score the only goal of the game, and secure the unlikely victory.

 With Robbie Keane travelling back from International duty with Ireland and Beckham missing training over the last few days due to illness you had a feeling that as the game went on the more the game would swing into Houstons favor, if the visitors could make it to that point in the game. The second half started just as the first had finished with Galaxy attacking and Houston feeding on scraps.

With just under an hour gone Robbie Keane put the ball in the back of the net which was wrongly called back for offside. Replays would show that the Irishman was level with the last defender as he went through and the goal should have stood. Would this be the turning point in the game with the Dynamo realising they had been given another chance and the Galaxy players must have been asking what they had to do to break the deadlock in this tie.

Then the three big game players answered Galaxy fans prayers when they combined for the opener as the knock on from Beckham found Keane. He fed the ball through to Donovan who clipped the ball over the Hall, and despite getting a touch, couldn’t keep it out.

From that point on you could only see one team winning it as Houston looked to have finally had the stuffing knocked completely out of them despite a valiant effort for over two thirds of the game. To Houstons credit though they didn’t retreat back in their shells and instead embarked on the most attacking passages of play for them in this game. However it would be too little to late and the Galaxy would hold on for the win. This win made head coach Bruce Arena head to the top of the pile with his fourth MLS Cup win and made gave LA their fourth MLS Cup win and sealed Beckhams last game officially as an LA player, unless of course he re-signs, with trophies in three countries. Beckham is now the first Englishman to do this since the million pound player, Trevor Francis in 1987.

PA Cityboy

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