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Monday, November 21, 2011

Hollywood Ending: LA wins MLS Cup 2011

Photo credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty

The Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS Cup tonight at the right time and with the right pieces. It was Beckham and Donovan, Magee and Keane, Juninho and Dunivant, Franklin and Saunders, Gonzalez and De la Garza. The Galaxy that Bruce Arena built is based on pairs: goalkeeper and the defense, center forward and great crosses from the outside backs. And it works.

Tonight, the LA Galaxy dominated a Houston Dynamo that looked out of sorts without Brad Davis. There were no clear passes for Brian Ching and just one dangerous set piece. Moffat's insistence in attack wasn't enough for the Dynamo and Carr and Ching never looked in sync.

Bruce Arena made league history today by winning his third title. Donovan also made history by scoring the game-winning goal in a final to win his second title as a Galaxian. And it doesn't stop there: Robbie Keane set up a superb goal by Donovan and added another title to his inventory. The Irishman has been instrumental in cementing the Galaxy's run. He gave the team that much more stardom.he

The defense was also stellar tonight. Omar Gonzalez erased any Dynamo play that came his way, and with a bit of style and presence. De la Garza was a perfect partner and always showed up when the ball was played low and when Ching or Carr tried to break free. Sean Franklin showed why he merits more looks by the national team with his overlapping runs.

And then there's David Beckham. If Donovan is the soul of the Galaxy then Beckham is the heart. His passes always perfect, his positioning and awareness just as fresh at the age of 36, and his drive unsurpassed by any other player on the pitch. No one wanted this title more than Becks. And yes, although some may not want to hear it, the Beckham experiment worked.

Congratulations LA Galaxy. Clearly the class of MLS. Surely the best team in the league. A just win for a star-studded cast. This is Hollywood after all.

Landon's goal:

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