CARSON, Calif.–The Los Angeles Galaxy won the 2011 MLS Cup Sunday night, defeating the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, on a 72nd-minute goal by Landon Donovan off assists by David Beckham and Robbie Keane.
Beckham began the scoring sequence by heading the ball to Keane, who passed to Donovan, who put a right-footed shot from about nine yards out diagonally past goalkeeper Tally Hall just inside the right goalpost.
The 36-year-old Beckham played all 90 minutes, despite a previously undisclosed torn hamstring, sustained in practice Tuesday.
The game could be the last for Beckham for the Galaxy in Southern California as the five-year contract he signed in 2007 expires Dec. 31.
“I said before I need to sit back and relax and enjoy this for a moment and decide what I’m going to do,” Beckham said. “I might talk in the past tense every now and again, but that doesn’t mean I’m not coming back. At the end of the day, I need to decide what’s best for me, what’s best for the team and my family.”
When asked about reports he would sign with Paris Saint-Germain of France’s Ligue 1, Beckham said “There’s a lot of options, but I’m a Galaxy player.”
Beckham, whose home is in Beverly Hills, said “living in L.A. was a dream,” and appeared to indicate he will remain in the region.
“It’s been exceptional since the day we arrived and nothing’s changed,” Beckham said. “We’re looking forward to the future here. It’s a great place to bring up my children.”
Beckham said he would enjoy tonight’s celebration of the championship, his first with the Galaxy, but has to drop off his three sons at school at 8 a.m. Monday.
Beckham and the Galaxy are scheduled to play exhibition games in Jakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 30, Manila, Philippines Dec. 3 and Melbourne, Australia Dec. 6.
The championship is the third for the Galaxy in its 16-season history.
It also won titles in 2002 and 2005, but this was the first time it won while playing on its home field.
“As an athlete, it’s an unbelievable accomplishment to win a championship in your own stadium,” said Donovan, who was named as the game’s most valuable player.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. The stadium was electric. To do it in your own stadium is really, really special.”
Donovan and other Major League Soccer players could have more opportunities win championships in their own stadiums as the league announced today that MLS Cup will be played at the home of the team’s best record, instead of a site being chosen in advance.
The Galaxy led in shots, 14-8, and shots on goal, 4-1, before a sellout crowd of 30,281, 3,281 more than the stadium’s usual capacity. Extra stands were built to accommodate the crowd.
“They created more opportunities than we did and scored a very good goal and they defended well,” said Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, who was also seeking to become the first MLS coach to win a third championship. He coached the Dynamo to titles in 2006 and 2007.
“Our effort was there. It’s just sometimes you don’t play the way you want to play.”
By Steven Herbert | City News Service