Bruce Arena Calen Carr

Golden Farewell

10:25 PMAleks Vee

LA came back from a 1-goal deficit in a more-than-satisfying repeat of last season's Cup win. The back-to-back Champions played beautifully, despite conceding right before halftime.
The Galaxy had plenty of opportunities that were sadly wasted by the likes of Donovan and Juninho. Moreover, the hosts had clear control of the ball and were looking strong. Houston's Sarkodie had a fantastic run on the right and an immediate shot that was masterfully saved by Saunders. Soon, however, Houston seized an opportunity. Calen Carr picked up a through ball and played it well before scoring in the near post. The hosts looked much better as a team, while Houston relied on individual action to create chances.

LA's British and American stars.
Thousands of Galaxy supporters were certainly not disappointed with the second half. They saw more of Robbie Keane. Saunders made incredible saves and prevented Carr from scoring a double off the pitch. Of course, the game wouldn't be complete without David Beckham taking the set pieces. Once again, Omar Gonzalez proved why he's considered one of the best players in the MLS and a valuable asset to the US National Team roster. He made his mark by scoring a header into the far post. Gonzalez truly defines much of the Galaxy's psychology as well. His goal led to back-to-back set pieces and an attempt by Keane. A handball in the box gave the Galaxy a penalty, dutifully converted by Landon Donovan. Try as they might, Houston could never truly recover from the Galaxy lead, largely in part due to Saunders' performance. The guests were so close, yet so far away as Brian Ching nutmegged a defender from outside the box, sending the ball rolling past the left post. The Galaxy earned a second penalty after Keane was brought down by Houston keeper Hall's outstretched arm. The Irishman made up for plenty of missed opportunities by scoring LA's 3rd goal, sealing a brilliant victory over the Dynamo. Beckham was subbed off during stoppage time to a roaring, sold-out crowd of 30,510. The Dynamo didn't even get to take the last corner as the final whistle blew. Nevertheless, thousands of supporters clad in orange scarves and jerseys applauded their team for a game well-played.

The Galaxy deprived Houston of the Cup for the second year in a row, yet they acknowledged that it was a stronger, more developed Houston. Dominic Kinnear has produced a team that deserved to make it to the final. A team that, like the Galaxy, have won back-to-back Championships. A team whose season featured a great performance on the road, Dynamo finished 5th in the Eastern Conference, but next season may have something much bigger in store. As the 3rd place Red Bulls' fate hangs in the balance, its quite likely a certain team from Texas will be taking their spot.
Even the constant interruptions by the referee didn't stop Bruce Arena's team from another triumph. A sea of confetti surrounded the teams, soon to be replaced with gold and silver medals. Keane's smile lit up the arena as he hugged Donovan in celebration of their win. It's certainly a moment Bruce Arena and his team will never forget. Back-to-back Champions and an MVP award for Omar Gonzalez. The Galaxy became the second team (along with D.C. United) as the only team with 4 MLS titles.

As for David Beckham, he couldn't have had a better end to his stay in the U.S. The incredible impact he's brought to the league and to football across the globe has been insurmountable. He is possibly the most influential player in the modern era. As with his departures from Manchester United and Real Madrid, Beckham won a title in his final season at the Galaxy. Clad in a British flag, walking along the pitch with the air of a prophet, David Beckham honored the MLS as both a player and an individual. But the night wasn't over until the stars and stripes were draped across his back. It's safe to say that the British influence will forever remain in our nation's history. It just happened to find a path through football.

Major League Soccer Cup Final
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 4:30PM EST

LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo - 3:1 (0:1)
Venue: Home Depot Center (Carson, California)
Referee: Silviu Petrescu (Ontario, Canada)
Goals:
0:1 Calen Carr (44')
1:1 Omar Gonzalez (61')
2:1 Landon Donovan (PK) (65') 
3:1 Robbie Keane (PK)

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