2011 Season Review
Final Record: 19-5-10, 67 pts. (First, Western Conference)
The LA Galaxy enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in MLS history in 2011, repeating as Supporters' Shield winners and claiming their third MLS Cup title.
The season started promisingly with a 1-0 win at Seattle in the first game of the season, but the team struggled to find consistency through the month of March as injuries and absences took their toll. However, an undefeated April that saw the Galaxy give up just two goals in five games and never trail served notice to the league that the Galaxy were serious about retaining their spot at the top of MLS.
MLS Cup 2011 Photos
Following a heartbreaking loss at FC Dallas on May 1, the Galaxy went 14 consecutive league games without a loss, going 8-0-6 with eight shutouts in that time to take a commanding lead at the top of the Western Conference heading into August. Nine different players scored during that streak and four different goalkeepers had to be used, including Mike Magee in an unbelievable, award-winning emergency performance against San Jose on June 25, showing that the Galaxy had the depth to navigate the long season that still lay ahead.
After seeing their unbeaten streak snapped in Portland, the Galaxy bounced right back with league wins over FC Dallas and San Jose to maintain their standing at the top of the league. The win over the Earthquakes also saw the goal-scoring debut of Robbie Keane, who was signed by the club just before the end of the transfer window. Balancing their MLS schedule along with that of the CONCACAF Champions League was not an easy feat, but LA, who saw five players (David Beckham, who had a career-best 15 assists, Landon Donovan, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year and Juninho) named to the MLS All-Star Team and four players (Beckham, Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Gonzalez) named to the MLS Best XI along with Coach of the Year Bruce Arena, continued to roll through the regular season, all but clinching the Supporters' Shield by the start of October.
WATCH: MLS Cup Highlights
In the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Galaxy, who were undefeated at home during the regular season, dispatched the New York Red Bulls 3-1 on aggregate in a chippy and hard fought Western Conference Semifinal Series, setting up a date with Real Salt Lake for a berth in MLS Cup. Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy a lead in the Conference Championship, only for RSL to answer right back. Early in the second half, Mike Magee scored in his third straight playoff game to put LA in front before Robbie Keane killed the game off with his first postseason goal, sending the Galaxy back to MLS Cup.
The Home Depot Center served as the host for MLS Cup and with a record crowd of more than 30,000 fans in attendance, there was only ever going to be one winner. After dominating play throughout the game, the Galaxy finally got the goal they deserved in the 72nd minute as Keane played in Donovan, who beat Tally Hall in the Houston goal to give LA a 1-0 win and their third MLS Cup.
In addition to their success in MLS, the Galaxy also achieved their goal of advancing past the group stage of the Champions League. Despite being placed in what was regarded as the toughest group in the competition, the Galaxy emerged victorious, going 4-2-0 for 12 points and a first place finish based on tiebreakers with Alajuelense and Morelia. LA were a perfect 3-0-0 in the competition at home and clinched their spot in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Motagua in Honduras on the final day of the competition.
RE-LIVE MLS CUP 2011