The Major League Soccer season came to an end Saturday with a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. And just like last year the Galaxy prevailed over the Dynamo to claim their second consecutive MLS Cup trophy.
Unlike last year’s final, however, there was a lot of action and drama throughout the entire match. The Dynamo grabbed the advantage near the end of the first half and took a ton of momentum into the second half where they nearly doubled their lead about ten minutes later. But the Galaxy goalkeeper made an amazing save to keep the deficit at one. Robbie Keane had two goals called back for the Galaxy, which made it seem as if the Dynamo were destined for glory. However, LA knotted the score in the 60th minute. Landon Donovan, the league’s most decorated player with numerous MLS playoff trophies, records, and goals, managed to convert a penalty kick in the 65th minute to give the Galaxy for good. Keane added an insurance goal in stoppage time on another penalty kick. When the final whistle blew Donovan, Keane, and David Beckham were able to hold the club’s second MLS Cup trophy in as many years. I used to believe that the MLS had great parity in the league, but are certain teams starting to separate themselves from the pack? The last two years have had the same teams facing off in the championship. Before that, the same teams rarely made the finals twice in a row. The last seed was winning the Cup. Expansion teams were making the playoffs in their first seasons. We shall see if the trend continues.
One thing that will play a huge role in whether or not the Galaxy return to glory in 2013 is if Landon Donovan returns to the team or not. Beckham had already publicly stated that this would be his last match with the Los Angeles Galaxy and after the cup Donovan had not made up his mind whether he would rejoin the club next season. The American midfielder is only thirty years old, a whole seven less than Beckham. He still has multiple seasons and even another possible World Cup left in his campaign. I hope he doesn’t retire yet. Maybe he will try again in England, or maybe he will sign with another MLS team for more money. My advice is for him to stay in LA. When Donovan played for Everton in England he was merely a role player and struggle in the English Premier League. Over in the States, he is an icon, a star in one of the biggest cities in the country. The Galaxy should also do everything in their power to keep him. He led the team with fourteen assists and was second on the squad with nine goals.
It’s hard to replace that kind of production on top of already losing Beckham’s seven goals and nine assists. Maybe I am wrong though. Maybe they will take the franchise in a whole new direction. Maybe they are going to sign two more high profile talents to replace them. There are always more and more aging English players looking for a club to pay them millions of dollar to live in the U.S. and play soccer.
Should Donovan stay or go? Should he announce his decision in primetime event? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the MTAF Podcast too. It’s on iTunes!