2001 Season in Review
Final Record: 14-7-5, 47 Points (First, Western Division)
The Galaxy finished their sixth MLS season with a record of 14-7-5 (.635), good for 47 points and first place in the Western Division and the third-best overall record in the league. The first place finish marked the fourth time the club has finished atop its division or conference. Despite a slow start, losing their first two matches of the season, the Galaxy battled back and finished the season on a high note, winning seven of its last nine games. At the Rose Bowl, Los Angeles finished tied for the third-best home record in the MLS at 9-3-1 (.731). They also had the third-best record on the road with a 5-4-4 mark (.538). The Galaxy led the Western Division with a record of 7-3-0. Los Angeles also attained three milestones in 2001, their 300th goal, 100th victory and 1,000th point.
2001 PLAYOFFS: With a strong push by the Galaxy in 2001, the club advanced all the way to the MLS Cup, only to be defeated by the San Jose Earthquakes. Los Angeles, who defeated the NY/NJ Metrostars in the quarterfinals and the Chicago Fire in the semifinals to reach the MLS Cup, fell short in sudden death overtime, 2-1, to finish runner-up for the third time in their third trip to the MLS Cup.
300TH GOAL: The Galaxy established a team milestone April 28, 2001 with its 300th goal. Cobi Jones, who scored the franchise's first goal on April 13, 1996 and is the team's all-time leading scorer, also established a personal milestone in this victory, 3-2, over the Colorado Rapids. The U.S. National Team star, scored the 300th goal in club history in the 22nd minute. Jones took Peter Vagenas' pass, got a step on defender Lance Key and beat goalkeeper Adin Brown. With his second goal just before halftime (47th+), Jones became only the sixth player in league history to reach the 50-goal standard. It was Jones' ninth multi-goal MLS game and his first since July 8, 2000 at Miami.
100th VICTORY: Los Angeles became the fire team in MLS history to reach the 100-victory mark June 23, 2001 in the 2-0 win over the NY/NJ Metrostars. The Galaxy, who won their inaugural game on April 13, 1996 when Cobi Jones and Arash Noamouz each scored in the 2-1 victory over the MetroStars, reached this mark at home in the Rose Bowl. Jones, along with Greg Vanney and Mauricio Cienfuegos, were the only remaining players from the first season's roster. From (Chris) Armas to (Brad) Wilson, 69 players have worn the Galaxy colors over its six seasons and 37 different players have contributed at least once to the team's 341 regular season goal total.
1,000th POINT: In 2001 the Galaxy reached another statistical landmark, becoming only the second team in the MLS to attain 1,000 all-time scoring points. The club finished the regular season with 1,063 points. Deducting six “own goals” (where points are not awarded) from the 347-goal total, the 341 remaining (two points each) and 381 all-time assists (one point) give the Galaxy 1,063 points. D.C. became the first team to surpass the 1,000-point mark earlier in 2001.
MLA ALL-STAR GAME INCLUDES THREE FROM THE GALAXY: The Galaxy boasted three MLS All-Stars at the contest held at Spartan Stadium in San Jose. Mauricio Cienfuegos was voted in as a starter by the fans. West head coach Bob Bradley selected Cobi Jones and Luis Hernandez was one of MLS Commissioner Don Garber's two picks. Cienfuegos recorded two assists in his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance, while Jones recorded one. The West held a 4-3 halftime lead, but the East came back in the second half to bring the final score to a tie at 6-6.
WEST COAST OFFENSE?: Los Angeles was one of two MLS teams to average two or more goals per game during the regular season (Miami was the other). The Galaxy finished second in MLS with 52 goals, a 2.00 per game average. It was a team effort for Los Angeles, as club-leading scorer Cobi Jones finished just 18th in MLS scoring with six goals and 10 assist for 22 points.
GALAXY'S PAUL CALIGIURI CHANGED AMERICAN SOCCER FOREVER: He's known by American soccer fans as the man who scored on the “shot heard ‘round the world.” Paul Caligiuri played his final professional game on October 27th and walked into the sunset with two more champions to his record career, a US Open and FC Champions' Cup titles. It can be argued that no single moment in any athletic contest has so changed its sport's fate in this country, as did Paul Caligiuri's 30-yard violently dipping left-footed volley against Trinidad & Tobago on November 19, 1989. For the first time since shocking England in 1950, the USA had earned a berth in the globe's most prominent sporting event. That one goal resulted in a domino effect that would change soccer forever.
Now, after 110 national team appearances and a professional career that saw him play seven years in Germany and six MLS seasons, the two-time World Cup veteran and 1988 Olympic Team starter will retire at the end of the 2001 MLS season to become the college head coach for both the men's and women's soccer teams at Cal Poly Pomona.
ROAD TO THE U.S. OPEN CUP: Danny Califf's golden goal in overtime gave the Galaxy a victory in the U.S. Open Cup championship, 2-1, over the New England Revolution on October 27 at Titan Stadium. The victory gives Los Angeles their evasive first domestic championship.
Alexi Lalas' golden goal in overtime gave the Los Angeles Galaxy a dramatic 1-0 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal victory over the Chicago Fire at Titan Stadium on August 22. With the win, Los Angeles advances to take on the New England Revolution. It was déjà vu for the Galaxy and Fire in a repeat of last year's heated semifinal match, which Chicago won 2-1 in overtime, but this year it was the Galaxy's turn to come away with the late heroics.
In the quarterfinals, Los Angeles advanced past San Jose, 10-9, on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in regulation and two scoreless sudden-death overtime periods. The Galaxy also posted early round victories over the Premier Development League's Seattle Sounders Select (3-1) on July 11 and the A-League's Nashville Metros (5-0) on June 27.
2001 GALAXY AWARD WINNERS
HONDA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Hendrickson was the Galaxy's most consistent player throughout the 2001 season as voted by the club's press corps. Hendrickson has provided the club a steady defensive presence while also providing an offensive threat, scoring five goals and adding three assists for 13 points. Los Angeles relied on the 29-year-old St. Vincent native to come through in the clutch as all five of his strikes proved to be game-winners. His biggest day came in the F.C. Champions Cup final last January when he tallied twice in the Galaxy's 3-2 victory over Olimpia of Honduras.