David Beckham's LA Galaxy
captured the MLS Cup championship with a 1-0 triumph over the
Houston Dynamo in front of a celebratory home crowd on Sunday.
Captain Landon Donovan scored the only goal of the match in
the 72nd minute, cleverly lifting the ball over an advancing
goalkeeper as the Galaxy claimed their first championship since
2005 and third in the past decade.
"It's a sense of elation," Donovan told a news conference
after being named the match's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
"I've been so determined to win this and I just wanted the
ball to go in, it didn't matter who scored. It's been a trying
"Winning feels so good."
The Galaxy deserved the victory after dominating the contest
to secure a title victory that validates the franchise's
lucrative investment in a star-studded line-up.
With Beckham, who arrived in 2007, Irish striker Robbie
Keane and Donovan in the squad, the side has three 'designated
players' paid above salary cap restrictions and anything less
than a title victory would have been deemed a failure.
The Galaxy's win marks the first MLS title for a team with a
designated player and may signal a new era of star power for the
After capturing the Supporters' Shield for the best record
in the regular season, it was perhaps fitting that the team's
three big-name players rose to the occasion by combining for
Donovan's well-taken goal.
The winning attack started with Beckham winning an aerial
battle by heading forward to Keane, whose defence-splitting pass
put Donovan through on goal and the U.S. international calmly
slotted the ball past an advancing Dynamo keeper Tally Hall.
It was the kind of sequence the Galaxy had envisioned when
they signed Keane in August to combine with the team's other
Captain Brian Ching did his best to create chances for the
visitors, who were playing without injured striker Brad Davis,
and the Dynamo defence stood firm to hold the Galaxy at bay for
Los Angeles thought they had scored the opening goal a few
minutes before Donovan's winner when Keane completed a sweeping
move but was flagged offside, with television replays suggesting
the Irishman was level with the final defender.
Despite the defeat, it was a strong campaign for the Dynamo,
who overcame a slow start to the season and made a convincing
playoff charge before running into the overpowering Galaxy.
"They've been the best team in the league from the first day
until now," said Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear of the Galaxy.
"They're a deserving champion."
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