Sports Desk: The Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo fell 3-1 to the L.A. Galaxy yesterday in the Major League Soccer Championship final at the Home Depot stadium in Carson City, California. Before the match even started, it had been built up as a grand swan song for star player David Beckham who announced he was not coming back to the league next year after playing for five years. There was also much talk of American star Landon Donovan not coming back and looking at other options - which was also a major talking point pre-game. Yet, there was little to no talk of Houston’s success story this season. No talk of how the Dynamos went undefeated at home or their record against the Galaxy. Going into this year’s game was a repeat of last year with the exception of the Dynamo now having a healthy, stronger squad.
During the first half, Houston came on the attack putting pressure on L.A. goalkeeper Josh Sanders. It was a stalemate up until Houston’s Calen Carr’s goal in the 44th minute made it 1-0 before the end of the first half. Early in the second half, Carr’s knees collided with L.A. defender Omar Gonzales in the 59th minute and had to be replaced by Macoumba Kandji.
L.A. put on the pressure but it wasn’t until the 60th minute that the Galaxy where able to convert a header by defender Omar Gonzales after a cross by teammate Juninho. This leveled things at 1-1 until Ricardo Clark was called for a handball after an attempted bicycle kick by L.A.’s Mike Magee hit Clark in the 65th minute. Landon Donovon then came up and converted on the penalty kick - beating out Houston’s Tally Hall making it 2-1 L.A.. This was Donavon’s 22nd goal of the postseason.
From there, as Houston tried to play up, they were caught by a counterattack which led to Houston’s Tally Hall being called for a foul inside the box and bringing down L.A.’s Robbie Kean in extra time. Kean converted the penalty making the score 3-1 - Kean’s sixth of the playoff. The goal wrapped things up for Houston as the final whistle blew giving L.A. the win and back-to- back championships. L.A.’s Omar Gonzales was given the game’s MVP award.
Over 30,000 fans witnessed this final game and over 1,000 of those fans were from Houston. With this L.A. win, we find that Houston’s Brian Ching might retire. L.A.’s David Beckham is leaving and has not announced where he will go next, and Landon Donovon leaves becoming one of only three people who have won five MLS Cups (two with L.A. and three with San Jose). L.A. also becomes tied with DC United as the only team to have won four MLS Cup titles and one of three who have won back-to-back titles. For Houston, the Dynamo still have one of the most successful home records and the best fans.
The Dynamo will fly back home today at 3pm at IAH.