Found December 01, 2012 on Fox Soccer:
2009_mls_western_5f7b
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 championship. LA's 1-0 half-time deficit, courtesy of a Calen Carr goal and the Galaxy's insistence on turning the ball over, was labored. Throughout the first hour, Beckham, the man who had already announced that he would be leaving the Galaxy following the game, and Donovan, the man who has hinted that he might, as he delves into his existential crisis, looked out of sorts. Beckham traded off a smattering of old-fashioned passes with uncharacteristic giveaways. Donovan missed a gift of a chance in the 13th minute and looked to be communicating on an entirely different wavelength than his teammates, earning him several tirades from his fiery Irish strike partner Robbie Keane. It all made for a poor game; slow, sloppy, jittery and scrappy. If Houston was unambitious with its unimaginative circulation of the ball, it nevertheless outplayed the Galaxy, who were outshot by the underdogs in both halves and spent more time whining at the referee and their peers than pursuing the ball. But the Galaxy turned it around all the same, buttressed by the innate quality of their stars. In the 48th minute, Keane slipped through the Houston defense but saw his goal disallowed for offside. In the 60th minute, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez, rose high on a Juninho cross and deposited his header beautifully in the low far corner of the goal to equalize, setting off pandemonium. Three minutes later, his team having finally seized the momentum, Keane had another goal disallowed when a foul was called on Gonzalez on the play. Not two minutes hence, a big scrum in the penalty box resulted in a penalty when the Dynamo's Ricardo Clark handballed. And so Donovan decided the game. The rest of the game felt like a formality, a routine procedure as onlookers basked in the party's having finally reached its apex. Orange smoke drafted over the field from the Dynamo's well-filled quadrant of the stands, but it mattered little. Especially after Keane broke through a final time in the 93rd minute, was taken down in the box and got to knock home his own penalty to register the 3-1 final score. With seconds left and the championship celebrations long since underway, Beckham was substituted off for his curtain call. "Thank you, Beckham," sang the Angel City Brigade hardcores, who had sung "We want Beckham" at this very game - played between these very teams - a year ago, pleading for an encore after his initial five year contract was up. They got it. Yielding a second consecutive title. A trophy was hoisted, more confetti shot up and more sparks blew from a machine. After all the hugs and kisses were doled out, Beckham strolled off the field, flanked by one of his sons, draped in both a British and an American flag. From all around the player tunnel, shrieks clamored for his attention. He gave a nod. Then a wave. And then he was gone. Behind him, Donovan ambled into an unknown future subject to introspection. They sat side by side at the post-game press conference, drenched in champagne and smelling heavily of it. Beckham, as usual, said nothing more interesting than that "two titles are better than one" and that Gonzalez had danced around naked in the locker room. Donovan confirmed that he isn't sure what his future holds. "You have to listen to your gut," he spoke softly. "My gut says to go away for a while." It's been a heavy few years for Donovan, for Beckham and for the Galaxy. They're exhausted. The attention, the travel, the expectations wore on them. Two hours after the game, their locker room was almost empty. A long table groaned under the weight of dozens of empty champagne bottles. Puddles of the stuff flooded the floor, mixed with blades of grass, stinging the nostrils with their sour scent. The party was over.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

MLS Soccer: The Galaxy are the best team in L.A.

The new kings of Los Angeles—the Galaxy. (mlssoccer.com) “I love this club,” said David Beckham after the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-1 in the 2012 MLS Cup. The victory marked the club’s second straight MLS Cup over the Dynamo and fourth cup victory in the last 10 seasons. Since the arrival of Beckham in 2006, the Galaxy have displayed all the glitz and...

Beckham in US: He came, he sold, he conquered

David Beckham came, he sold, he conquered. For the first two years after he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, he was more of a brand than a player, his impact at America's cash registers far greater than any transformation on the field. By the time the 37-year-old English midfielder played his final game in Major League Soccer on Saturday, he had achieved his goals athletically...

Beckham bows out in LA-Houston rematch for MLS Cup

David Beckham wraps up his five-year career with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday in the MLS Cup. He just hopes fans realize they'll miss an excellent game if all eyes are focused only on him. Los Angeles goes after its second straight MLS title at home in a rematch with the Houston Dynamo, who lost 1-0 on the same field last season in Beckham's first championship. Beckham...

Beckham wins 2nd MLS title, Galaxy beat Dynamo 3-1

David Beckham left MLS as a two-time champion after the Los Angeles Galaxy came from a goal down to beat Houston Dynamo 3-1 in the MLS Cup on Saturday. With a stirring second-half surge capped by penalties by Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, Los Angeles won its fourth MLS Cup, tying D.C. United for the MLS record. The Galaxy also gave an appropriate farewell to Beckham, the 37...

Beckham Pledges Mls Support

David Beckham insists his personal involvement with Major League Soccer is not over after ending his five-year stay in USA in style.

Galaxy chasing second straight MLS title

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- David Beckham wraps up his six seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday in the MLS Cup. He just hopes fans realize they'll miss an excellent game if all eyes are focused only on him. Los Angeles goes after its second straight MLS title in a rematch with the Houston Dynamo, who lost 1-0 to the Galaxy last season at Home Depot Center. The field was...

David Beckham’s Replacement Could Be Real Madrid Star Kaka, According to Galaxy President

The Los Angeles Galaxy are set to lose superstar David Beckham after Sunday’s MLS Cup Final, but they already have big things in mind for the post-Beckham era. On Friday, the president of Galaxy ownership group AEG left no ambiguity as to who is the next soccer star he wants to see added to L.A. Beckham first joined the Galaxy when he was 31, and another star from the Real Madrid...

Beckham bids farewell as Galaxy beat Dynamo

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Landon Donovan scored the tiebreaking goal on a penalty kick in the 65th minute, and David Beckham left MLS as a two-time champion with the Los Angeles Galaxy's 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup on Saturday. Omar Gonzalez tied it in the 61st minute with a long header for the Galaxy, who defended their title in a rematch of last season...

Dynamo-Galaxy Preview

David Beckham wraps up his six seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday in the MLS Cup. He just hopes fans realize they'll miss an excellent game if all eyes are focused only on him. Los Angeles goes after its second straight MLS title in a rematch with the Houston Dynamo, who lost 1-0 to the Galaxy last season at Home Depot Center. The field was soaked with rain last...

Dynamo Look to Lift Cup in Carson

For the second consecutive season the Houston Dynamo have won the Eastern Conference and will travel to Home Depot Center to take on the LA Galaxy in MLS Cup. Dynamo fans hope the script has a different ending in this sequel. Much of the news leading up to this match has centered around David Beckham and his announcement that this will be his final MLS match. The former...

Pieces in place ahead of MLS Cup

In a week filled with buzz about David Beckham's final MLS game and Landon Donovan's future, Houston just proceeded with business as usual. No one has paid much attention to their run of four MLS Cup appearances in seven years in the buildup to this final. Few people have noted that this Dynamo group - albeit with a markedly different composition - won on two of those occasions...

Magic Johnson, Drew Carey, U.S. Soccer Stars Thank David Beckham for Changing Face of Sport in America

David Beckham made a huge splash when he landed in Los Angeles back in 2007. Now that he is leaving the L.A. Galaxy, we can begin to understand the depth of his impact. Beckham went out a winner on Saturday, helping the Galaxy to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo in MLS Cup 2012. The 37-year-old was hailed by fans, teammates and opponents for changing Major League Soccer and...

LA Galaxy defeat Dynamo in MLS Cup

Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane sent David Beckham off a winner in his final MLS game as Los Angeles won its second consecutive MLS Cup with a 3-1 victory over Houston at the Home Depot Center. Donovan and Keane scored second half penalties to complete the Galaxy comeback and ensure Beckham left the Galaxy on a winning note. Houston forward Calen Carr scored the opener shortly before...
Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.