It is over, a done deal: the Los Angeles Galaxy are your 2012 MLS Cup Champions after a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The victory caps off a massive turnaround for the club after a not-so-solid 3-8-2 start to begin the season.
Let’s take a look at the six things we learned from this contest.
1. Calen Carr kicks things off
The Houston Dynamo kicked things off after both teams struggled to find their offensive mojo. In the 44th minute, Carr received a cross from Adam Moffat and used his speed to beat Galaxy rookie defender Tommy Meyer and easily slot it past Galaxy netminder Josh Saunders.
2. Omar is coming!
Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez responded in the 61st minute thanks to a corner conceded by Will Bruin at the hour mark. David Beckham’s corner was initially deflected, but he found Sean Franklin on a cross. Franklin found Juninho who sailed another cross to Gonzalez for the equalizer. Sean Franklin also had a hand in this one. The goal was the momentum Los Angeles needed to begin the turnaround.
3. Landon Donovan takes back the lead
If there is one goat on the Houston sidelines that threw this game away for the Dynamo, it’s Ricardo Clark. His handball in the penalty area in the 65th minute set up a Landon Donovan penalty conversion that gave the Los Angeles Galaxy a 2-1 lead. But it didn’t stop there.
4. Insurance goal from Robbie Keane seals the deal
Tally Hall became his own worst enemy in the third minute of stoppage time, when he fouled Robbie Keane, who was having a tough time scoring just once. After being issued a yellow card, Hall could only watch as Keane scored his sixth goal of the postseason, effectively sealing the MLS Cup title for Los Angeles.
5. Once again, the stats don’t matter
Houston finished the game dominating a number of key statistics, including possession (58.9 percent to 41.1 percent), passing accuracy (83 percent to 74 percent), open play crosses (22 to 11), corner kicks (nine to three) and attempts on goal (15 to 11). However, history has shown that against the Galaxy, stat domination does not correlate to a victory, and Los Angeles proved that theory right once again on Saturday.
6. Star No. 4 for Los Angeles
It has been an up-and-down year for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Just when the club seemed to be dead in the water midway through the season, the Galaxy successfully turn it around and finish the season as MLS Cup Champions. Los Angeles will now turn their attention to the offseason, where a number of questions need to be answered regarding who will replace Landon Donovan and David Beckham. The View from Avalon will be right there to cover the Los Angeles Galaxy’s offseason moves.