Confetti fluttered in the drizzle, fireworks shot billowy pillars into the sky.
The going-away party had taken its time in getting properly started.
This wasn't the fault of the partygoers, who at more than 30,000 were ample and vocal, sending calls of "LA" and "Galaxy" at each other from opposite ends of The Home Depot Center. They had brought their signs and banners, professing love and gratitude for David Beckham's six-year tenure with the club.
But the hosts were more than fashionably late. For more than an hour, the guests of honor neglected to do their part, dampening the festivities. At last, 65 minutes into the L os Angeles Galaxy's MLS Cup Final against the Houston Dynamo , it all began.
Landon Donovan, the other principal actor in the event, crouched deep, peered into the goal, rose and coolly rolled the ball to his right as goalkeeper Tally Hall flailed to the left, converting the penalty that would win the Galaxy their second consecutive Major League Soccer champions...