2005 Season Recap

After dropping two teams in the 2001 season, MLS decided to have another crack at expansion in 2005 with the formation of Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. It was the first time the league had added new teams since 1998.

Perhaps predictably, they both struggled. Despite drafting future US national team ‘keeper Brad Guzan with the second overall pick in the draft, Chivas conceded the most goals in the league and finished the season with the fewest points at 18. A 1-8-1 start to the season cost head coach Thomas Rongen his job and passing the reins to Chivas de Guadalajara head man Hans Westerhof. RSL did only marginally better, experiencing some success in the early going before ending the season on an 0-10-1 skid for a total of 20 points on the year.

While the MLS newcomers struggled, the rest of the league flourished. After a shaky start to the season, the San Jose Earthquakes stormed through the second half to win 15 of their final 20 games and earn the Supporters’ Shield on 64 points. The New England Revolution finished five points behind San Jose, but still took top spot in the Eastern Conference on the back of a Golden Boot performance by Taylor Twellman with 17 goals.

Reigning champions D.C. United unsurprisingly carried their good form into 2005 by taking second in the East, but the most surprising performance would come from newly-rebranded FC Dallas. After finishing with the second fewest points in the league in 2004 as the Dallas Burn, the club turned it around in 2005 to win 13 games and take the second spot in the West.

Fourth in the West were the Los Angeles Galaxy, who were bolstered by the shock return of Landon Donovan from Bayer Leverkusen and his subsequent decision to play in his hometown rather than return to the rival Earthquakes. The MetroStars, however, would make a splash of their own by signing former World and European champion Youri Djorkaeff, whose 10 goals helped the Metros squeeze past the Kansas City Wizards for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East.

But after firing Bob Bradley, Mo Johnston could only steer New York to a first-round loss to the Revs in the playoffs. In the West, however, the fourth-seeded Galaxy wasted no time in knocking off the Earthquakes by virtue of a 3-1 shelling at The Home Depot Center. The Colorado Rapids would upset FC Dallas in a penalty shootout, while the Chicago Fire pushed past D.C. with a 4-0 second-leg win at RFK Stadium.

But after the dust had settled, the Revs and Galaxy emerged as their respective conference champions to stage an MLS Cup rematch of the 2002 final. After a hard fought 90 minutes, the teams went to overtime, and the Galaxy once again triumphed behind a Golden Goal by a Guatemalan as Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez scored in the 105th minute to give LA their second championship.

2005 MLS standings


Most Valuable Player: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution
Goalkeeper of the Year: Pat Onstad – San Jose Earthquakes
Golden Boot: Taylor Twellman – New England Revolution, 17 goals
Rookie of the Year: Michael Parkhurst – New England Revolution
Defender of the Year: Jimmy Conrad – Kansas City Wizards
Goal of the Year: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy – October 15, 2005
Coach of the Year: Dominic Kinnear – San Jose Earthquakes

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