The LA Galaxy will stage championship rally on Monday at The Home Depot Center to celebrate their victory over the Houston Dynamo that sealed the organization's fourth MLS Cup championship.
Gates open at 6 p.m. for the rally takes place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Home Depot Center tennis stadium. Parking and admission is free. Attendees will be able to take photos with the 2012 MLS Cup trophies as well purchase a patch of grass from The HDC playing surface for a $5 donation to the LA Galaxy Foundation. The rally will also feature discounted food and drink including $2 beer and $1 hot dogs.
The entire LA Galaxy team and coaching staff will be on hand for the event.
The Houston Dynamo gave a far better showing of themselves in MLS Cup 2012, but in the end, the result was the same as the Dynamo fell 3-1 on Saturday.
Houston was competitive from the outset and took the lead in the 44th minute when Calen Carr made a darting run behind the Galaxy defense off a through-ball by Adam Moffat for the opening strike. After the goal, Carr was consistently testing the Galaxy defense at the start of the second half, but in the 57th minute, the forward was forced to leave the match after a collision with Omar Gonzalez left him unable to continue.
Three minutes later, the Galaxy would level on a goal by Gonzalez and in the 65th minute, a handball by Ricardo Clark set up a Landon Donovan penalty kick to put LA ahead for good. The Galaxy would add a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time on a Robbie Keane penalty kick after a Tally Hall foul in the box on the Irishman.
For a look at the match from a Houston perspective, check out these links:
*From Houston Chronicle's Jesus Ortiz: Better effort by Dynamo, but a worse loss
From Ortiz again: Kinnear and the Dynamo have much to be proud about their 2012 season
*From MLSsoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe: Dynamo come undone after frightening Carr injury
*From MLSsoccer.com's Darrel Lovell: Dynamo question referee calls that led to LA goals
*From Lovell again: Houston GK Tally Hall: Gonzalez should get called to USMNT "every time"
Below is a video with interviews of Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear and midfielder Brad Davis:
Below are a selection of photos as well as video of the LA Galaxy's postgame locker room celebration after winning MLS Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
If you look closely in the video, you may catch me getting absolutely drenched in champagne during the Galaxy's celebration video. Even more photos can be found in the new LA Galaxy Insider Instagram account and the club's Facebook page
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 2, 2012
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 2, 2012
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 2, 2012
Bruce Arena, David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan reflected on the LA Galaxy's 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo that sealed the club's fourth MLS Cup title.
Check out the video of the press conference below...
From the folks at MLSsoccer.com, a look at Omar Gonzalez's goal in the 60th minute of play from all angles.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. --There was only one word to describe Omar Gonzalez's performance in Saturday's MLS Cup -- omnipresent.
Throughout the opening stages of the match, Gonzalez provided an immense presence in the air, consistently batting away crosses and dangerous chances from the Houston Dynamo. But Gonzalez's presence wasn't just on defense as in the 60th minute, the Galaxy defender scored the tying goal off a lofted cross by Juninho to pull LA level. Five minutes later, the Galaxy would take the lead for good off a Landon Donovan penalty kick that was won, in part due to another header by Gonzalez.
When the Galaxy took the lead, Gonzalez's work did not stop there as he was able to repeatedly able to silence the Dynamo defense en route to being named MLS Cup MVP -- becoming the first defender ever to win the honor. Following the match, Gonzalez admitted that his presence in the air was vital to LA's victory.
"I think that's just what I have to do, game in and game out. That's what I'm known for, it was just like any other game. I had to get out of the nerves out of it and just focus on playing a good game. The whole team did well," said Gonzalez. "For me, winning MVP is great. I never thought that I would be winning it, it was pretty emotional for me because at the beginning of the year, I didn't see myself getting back to this level and I was just thinking if I was ever going to come back the same way. Today was really special for me, I know that I'm able to go even further now."
After a season that saw him battle back from a serious knee injury to become the Galaxy's fulcrum in central defense, Gonzalez took a moment after the victory to reflect on the 2012 season.
“I think I was looking at it from a totally different perspective at the very beginning of this year. I was coming in maybe once a week when those hard times were happening and those days that I would come in, everyone’s heads would be down. I think Bruce’s experience just took over and said ‘we’re going to be fine,' we ended up being just that," said Gonzalez. "In the very middle of the season everyone started turning around and everything turned out the way Bruce said. Everyone started fighting for each other and it just turned out to be an amazing season for me, myself, the organization. It’s just truly outstanding players and friends on this team that I’ve made. It’s been a really special year.”
CARSON, Calif. -- When A.J. DeLaGarza was felled by a left MCL sprain in late September, many worried that the Galaxy would struggle to repeat their MLS Cup title, but rookie Tommy Meyer stepped up when needed.
On Saturday, Meyer was tested early and often, but provided a solid contribution as he helped blanket childhood friend Will Bruin and forward Calen Carr. Meyer was at his finest during the final stages of the match as he as well as MLS Cup MVP Omar Gonzalez were able to shut down Houston.
“They have dangerous guys making runs out there, that is how they scored their goal," Meyer said. "I didn't do as well as I should have, but they are dangerous with Brad Davis on the wing, he served in some good balls, but Omar [Gonzalez] just cleared out everything. He is unbelievable, the best defender in the league by far, he was hurt for the first part of the year, but the way he came back, he helped out defense out unbelievably.”
Following the MLS Cup, Meyer was quick to reflect on a crazy first season.
“There is always a possibility when you come into an organization like this, but honestly I am just happy to be a part of it," said Meyer. "I have never won a championship before so this is unbelievable. I learned stuff from earlier in the season and tried not to make those mistakes again, but once the playoffs started I listened to Omar and the coaches, the guys in front of me helped me along."
CARSON, Calif. -- Below are thoughts from Robbie Keane after the LA Galaxy's 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy began the season poor going 3-8-2 in the first 13 matches, but finished as strong as they qualified for the postseason, eventually charging to the MLS Cup Final.
Perhaps then, it was fitting that LA would win MLS Cup by facing even more adversity, this time due to an early match miss by Landon Donovan in the 13th minute and a Calen Carr goal just a minute away from full time to put them down 1-0 into the half. As was the case throughout the season, timely play from Omar Gonzalez proved to be part of LA's saving grace as Gonzalez powered home a diagonal ball by Juninho in the 60th minute to level the match. Five minutes later, Mike Magee earned a penalty kick on a Ricardo Clark handball that set up a Donovan penalty. LA would add a third in stoppage time off a Robbie Keane penalty kick to add an exclamation point to the victory.
After a rocky start to the match -- and the year -- it was a fitting end.
"It was the perfect microcosm, the whole thing really came full circle really," said defender Todd Dunivant. "we dealt with the adversity again and came out at halftime. That was a goal that could break your back and that's what happened in the Seattle series...with this team at halftime, we've been through it enough to know that we did well enough in the first half and had some good chances, but were a bit unlucky because it was a good run by Calen Carr and a good finish,we came out and we responded like we did all year."
Although the win was analogous to LA's run, head coach Bruce Arena admitted that LA's run began after LA's trip to Washington, D.C. and the White House.
"When the season ended last year, we had an endless tour of obligations and we couldn't put the 2011 season behind us and I think that it finally came to closure when we went to the White House in May. I just said...let's put it past us and now we have to start putting this behind us," said Arena. "The guys responded well, but oddly enough in June, we still had a horrible run, but you could see things were getting better. There's an important game in Salt Lake, which was a character test and we kind of got that back then we just literally battled everyday."
After those key moments, Arena set forth calculating the proper formula that would ultimately make the Galaxy MLS Cup winners.
"We just laid it out to the guys and one thing, our local media was convincing me everyday that it was impossible to make the playoffs and I showed our guys the math. They told me that you're freaking crazy and it can't be done so I laid out an equation for our guys that with 17 games left, we had to get 27 to 30 points to make the playoffs," said Arena. "We ended up getting 34, which is more than anyone had. We had a focus about it, but the great part was that we started our first game playing Philadelphia at home and we lost. We had actually had 34 points in 16 games, but we made it clear that was the target. We reminded them everyday that we had to chip away at it and we managed to do it, but it was a real focus on a part of the whole team and the whole organization.
"It was a test of character, obviously, a test in leadership. I could write a pretty good book with a five star general now on leadership. I've been through the wars this year," said Arena. "It's really just, we have enough talent to win games, you just have to really, do the best job that you can to maximize performance. We focused on that, did it and got it done."
CARSON, Calif. -- Much speculation has followed Landon Donovan over the past few weeks and much will center around him now the LA Galaxy's season has concluded, but Donovan admitted that the MLS Cup title as well as some added family news has provided him some much needed perspective as he prepares to contemplate his future.
Donovan played a key role in LA's 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo, but the night did not start as planned as he missed a shot from close range in the 13th minute that could have given LA an early lead. However, Donovan gave LA the go-ahead-goal in the 65th minute as he slotted home a penalty kick to seal LA's win.
After his fourth MLS Cup title, Donovan was quick to admit that the win provided some perspective as he contemplates his future during the postgame press conference.
"It's been a long two years, for all of us. It's not a woe-is-me story, but I have to listen to my heart and my gut and right now my gut says to get away for a while," said Donovan. "I had a really nice moment where my sister just had a baby and she came down on the field and he was sleeping on her, and it sort of puts it all in perspective and makes me realize I want to be closer to my family for awhile and then figure out the soccer later."