The Galaxy struck first with Beckham passing to Keane for the goal, but questionable officiating pulled the goal back. The two sides remained even until the 72nd minute, despite both having several scoring chances. Finally, Donovan scored to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead that would last and prove to be sustainable and good enough for an MLS Cup championship. The Houston Dynamo were actually in control for the beginning of the 2nd half, but the Galaxy still controlled a majority of the match.
The match-up was made possible (or more possible anyway, it was technically still doable via the cross-over rule) by the realignment that moved the Houston Dynamo to the Eastern Conference to allow for the expansion sides Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC to join the Western Conference.
Landon Donovan was named the MLS Cup MVP.
Congratulation to the 2011 MLS Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy, who played at their home field after it was selected as the final “neutral” stadium for the Cup ever (starting next year, the team in the Cup with the best record will host it).
Of the three major championships this year, Los Angeles won two, securing both the Supporters’ Shield (given to the club with the best record in the MLS) and now the MLS Cup while going undefeated at home. The remaining championship, the U.S. Open Cup, was won by the Seattle Sounders FC as they defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 during the MLS regular season.
Also of note, Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship today and the CFL’s Grey Cup will be played this week.