Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy take on Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo in the 2012 MLS Cup Final on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN, TeleFutura and TSN/RDS. Midfielder Mike Magee, a player known for delivering clutch goals in the postseason, is fully aware that the Men in Orange are far more dangerous than they have ever been.
“They’re a better team,” Magee told MLSSoccer.com’s Scott French. “They’re definitely a better team. They’ve got more speed and, obviously, having Brad Davis back is going to help them. They got Will Bruin scoring a ton of goals. They know what it’s like [in a final] and they’re similar to us in terms of experience and leadership. Which is something we can’t overlook.”
Besides the work of veterans like Magee, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and David Beckham, Los Angeles have seen immense production from their rookies, many of whom helped the Reserves secured the MLS Reserve League West Division crown this year.
When asked of his first year in a Galaxy uniform, midfielder Rafael Garcia summed it up. “Above and beyond,” said Garcia to French. “Coming in, I knew this was the best team in the league. I knew this group had it in them from the beginning. I know we started off a little slow, but there was no doubt in my mind.
“I grew up here, supported this team since it started, really. To be part of it is unbelievable, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
Forward Jose Villareal has taken on Real Madrid and spearheaded the Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League ambitions. Now he gets his chance to play his part in the greatest event of American soccer: the MLS Cup Final.
“It’s been a crazy experience,” Villareal told French. “I’ve been able to play with players like David, Robbie and Landon, and you just learn a lot from them. Not only them, it’s the entire team and the environment you’re in. It makes you a better person and a better player.”
“You come to a club like this, and you’re happy just to be a part of it,” added rookie defender Bryan Gaul. “And then when you get playing time, you’re ecstatic. And then when you reach the MLS Cup, it’s a dream come true. You can’t ask for anything else.”
Speaking of defenders, center-back A.J. DeLaGarza is hoping to be match-fit in time for the final.
“I’ve been running a lot, so maybe it helped me. I only took two days off, I did fitness yesterday so I didn’t take it completely off,” DeLaGarza told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I was riding a bike and doing a little bit of stuff. I feel like I’ve already had my offseason, I didn’t play for a month so I’m just trying to get back into it.”
However, it is possible that Meyer, on the grounds of his work during this postseason will get to start at center-back alongside Omar Gonzalez in the final.