CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 20: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates with the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy after defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the 2011 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on November 20, 2011 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The odds makers got it right as the home field advantage was good for a goal difference. LA was for most of the night the better side but Houston had their chances but without the leadership and delivery of Brad Davis they looked off for most of the night.
LA didn't look great either, in fact they had just 46% of the possession, completed a lower percentage of their passes and won fewer 50/50 balls, but they took more shots, they had the better chances, they gave Houston all they could handle and then just a little bit. It in the end was enough as the 3 DP's combined on a great play that Landon Donovan finished to give them the win and the ability to lift the MLS Cup for the 3rd time.
It may be the perfect ending for the David Beckham experiment, which in the end now can be said was both a on and off the pitch success, the question is will it be enough to keep him in MLS or will he consider his work done here and move to PSG and the lights of Paris? I think he will be gone with tonight's win, he knows that his wife wants to be close to England, he will be spending a lot of time with the London 2012 Olympic games, which could be the next part of his legacy. It is fitting in a way that his last game be one in which the Galaxy lift the most important piece of hardware in MLS.
more thoughts after the jump:
Listen this LA Galaxy team was built to win titles, they have done that, now there are a lot of question about how will they keep the core of this team together, how will they replace Beckham, will Landon now finally leave, will their bargain basement prices for the rest of their players finally move back to the realistic range. LA has some great fans, they opened their arms to all the visiting fans this weekend and I believe set a new standard for how fans of opposing teams should be able to get along and support the sport and the league while supporting their teams at home and away.
Back to the actual match, I was hugely surprised that Houston didn't try to leverage the speed of Corey Ashe or Calen Carr in a more aggressive way tonight, I understand the threat that LA poses to counter attack but you won't win a match without having a good game plan on how to score goals. The few chances they did have from the run of play seemed just to lack cohesion in the final third and the delivery on set pieces was the difference between them being shut out and possibly winning the match. I thought Brian Ching was just average tonight, often out of position but I think the reason was the desire to try and boost the overall offensive effort as opposed to just being a target forward.
Well that is it from the parking lot of the Home Depot Center. Congratulations to Josh Saunders, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzales, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Mike Magee, Juninho, David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Adam Cristman, Landon Donovan, Chris Birchall, Gregg Berhalter, Jovan Kirovski, Paolo Cardozo, Donovan Ricketts, Frankie Hejduk, Michael Stephens, Bruce Arena, and the rest of the LA Galaxy players, staff, and fans,
OFF MY SOAPBOX