L.A. sends Beckham off with second straight MLS CupDec 2, 2012 - 4:10 AM
Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane scored in the final 30 minutes, as the Los Angeles Galaxy ended the Beckham era with a second straight MLS Cup title, 3-1 over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at The Home Depot Center.
Beckham announced the match would be his last in MLS, and he helped the Galaxy beat Houston in the final for the second straight year. L.A. tied D.C. United for the most titles in league history with four.
Calen Carr scored late in the first half for Houston, which was in the Cup for the fourth time in the last seven years. The Dynamo won in 2006 and 2007.
L.A. missed a few golden scoring chances in the first half as Donovan wasted a perfect set up from Beckham and Keane - the same trio that combined to produce the lone goal in the final last season - inside 15 minutes.
Houston silenced the crowd just before halftime, when Carr received a pinpoint pass from the other side of midfield from Adam Moffat and broke away from L.A. rookie center back Tommy Meyer.
Carr settled with one touch and then fired scored to the top-right corner with Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders leaning toward the far post.
Keane had a goal erased for offsides early in the second half, but L.A. filled the nets over the final half hour.
Gonzalez leveled the match in the 61st minute, Donovan put L.A. ahead from the penalty spot in the 65th and Keane sealed his six-goal postseason performance with the clinching goal from the spot in stoppage time.
Gonzalez rose above two Houston defenders to meet a cross from Juninho and put a header to the right post past Houston goalie Tally Hall for the first Galaxy goal.
"That obviously was the moment that things changed," Donovan said in the postgame press conference, "and then from there, we just kept putting pressure and it felt almost inevitable that the second goal was going to come."
Keane followed with another disallowed goal in the 63rd, but the Galaxy earned a penalty seconds later for a handball on Ricardo Clark. Donovan converted the penalty to the right with Hall going the opposite way in the 65th.
Keane added the final goal after he was fouled by Hall in the area deep in the three added minutes of extra time, and L.A. coach Bruce Arena did not waste an opportunity to give Beckham the ovation he deserved from the home fans.
Beckham was substituted off seconds later, ending an incredible six-year stint that helped grow the league and make L.A. the top team for two years in a row.
The English midfielder stole headlines in his final Galaxy appearance, but after the match he turned the spotlight on Gonzalez, who was named MLS Cup MVP.
"Omar, he's not just a special player, but he's a special person," Beckham said in the press conference. "He works hard and he listens, he's a young player with a lot of talent that I hope at some point will play for the U.S. national team more regularly, because he deserves it."
Los Angeles becomes the third club to repeat as MLS Cup champions, joining D.C. (1996 and 1997) and Houston (2006 and 2007) with that distinction.
- HOUSTON: 1
LOS ANGELES: 3
Dec 1 6:52 PM
- L.A. Goal - Keane 6 (PK), 90th minute
Dynamo 1, Galaxy 3 2nd - 90'Dec 1 6:51 PM
- L.A. Goal - Donovan 2 (PK), 65th minute
Dynamo 1, Galaxy 2 2nd - 67'Dec 1 6:23 PM
- L.A. Goal - Gonzalez 1 (Juninho), 61st minute
Dynamo 1, Galaxy 1 2nd - 62'Dec 1 6:19 PM
- Houston Goal - Carr 3 (Moffat), 44th minute
Dynamo 1, Galaxy 0 1st - 45'Dec 1 5:48 PM
- HOUSTON: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Half - 1'
Dec 1 4:57 PM
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