CARSON, Calif. – It was just a matter of time.
The LA Galaxy were unable to break through the Houston Dynamo defense for more than an hour, but there was never a doubt that the hosts wouldn’t hit the back of the net in Sunday’s MLS Cup 2011 final.
And while it took 72 minutes to do so, the Galaxy did break through, got their goal and got the third league title in franchise history in a 1-0 win over Houston.
“We really had possession the whole game but just couldn’t crack them,” Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez said. “Kudos to Houston for keeping it at 0-0 for so long, but I thought the longer the game went on, the closer we were going to come.”
The Galaxy had the better go of the match from the outset. Houston’s vaunted set-piece abilities were hardly present simply because they had few chances. A free kick outside the box early on led to nothing and Houston did not have a corner kick until the 85th minute.
“We just kept putting pressure on, that was the good thing,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said. “We kept pushing them in their end. We kept winning second balls and we kept pinning them in. We had chance after chance and we knew that we were going to break through.”
The Galaxy’s talented trio of Designated Players created a moment of brilliance that finally led to the game-winning goal, as David Beckham found Robbie Keane, who found Landon Donovan for the only goal the Galaxy would need.
“They have [come up big[ all year,” Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said. “They’re insanely good at coming up insanely clutch. Robbie got that ball, you kind of knew he was going to play a ridiculous ball, and once Landon gets in those spots, he’s clutch as hell and you know he’s going to put that away.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.