SEATTLE— It wasn’t the most likely of scenarios, in fact it was perhaps the most unlikely that The Home Depot Center would host the MLS Cup for the second straight year in a row, but after Sunday’s Conference Championship results, that is exactly what will take place.
With the final being hosted by the highest seed in the postseason, LA’s early season loll seemed to make it unlikely that The HDC would host the final. When the MLS Cup Playoffs began, only one scenario promised a Cup Final in Carson as the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed the Houston Dynamo needed to navigate the East while LA needed to advance through the Western Conference.
On Sunday, both teams had advanced past D.C. United and the Sounders respectively to set up a rematch of the 2011 MLS Cup between Houston and LA. The Galaxy defeated Houston 1-0 on that rainy night last November, but will take on the Dynamo this year at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 1.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, defender Todd Dunivant, midfielder David Beckham and forward Robbie Keane each discusses hosting the MLS Cup at The HDC below…
ARENA: “You know, we want some good weather, we want to be on a good field so we accomplished that and how we got to play better. We can’t complain now going into the final. We’ve had a lot of difficult games over the last month so hopefully over the next couple of weeks; we can get ourselves in the right kind of form for the final.”
DUNIVANT: “It’s crazy, the only that we were going to host is if fifth seeded Houston was going to go all the way through. Sure enough they did and that’s great. They’re a team that’s hot right now and hot teams in the playoffs are the teams that win and that’s why they’re in the final, they deserve to be in the final. We’re going to have our work cut out for us and it’s going to be a difficult game, but they’re certainly going to point to last year’s 1-0 game and look to rectify that and we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
BECKHAM: “It’s kind of amazing that we’re at home again; I still can’t get my head around it. It’s obviously nice, it’s good to be in front of our own fans and they’ll have a lot of fans like they did last year. It’s nice to play at home and it’s a lot easier than playing in another ground that we’re not used to, but it can also have it’s difficulties as well. We’ve got two weeks now to prepare so we’ll be ready.”
KEANE: “I don’t think anybody predicted this was going to happen. It’s amazing, in the same stands, in our stadium again. I think the chances at the start were very, very slim so listen, we’ll take it. Most important thing is we’re in the final. We didn’t pick where it’s going to be, we just have to keep winning games, and we’ve done that. Full credit to the players, it was a tough start of the season for everybody and we weren’t playing as well as that we know we can do. Football, as people always say, is a game of two halves, so the second half of the season we’ve been superb.”