(Photo credit: Robert Mora)
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – LA Galaxy won their fifth MLS Cup trophy on Sunday in front of 27,000 cheering fans at StubHub Center on Sunday and a day later, LA brought the trophy to the people as droves turned out at the Hermosa Beach Pier for the club’s Championship Rally.
On the banks of the Pacific Ocean, Galaxy fans cheered their heroes as they shared in the reverie of Sunday’s MLS Cup championship—the record fifth for the club. During the rally, the supporters celebrated as the players who gave succinct speeches of support and even a few declarations of bringing the party back to the pier this time next year.
The venue was a natural choice for the Galaxy considering their close connection with the Beach Cities in the South Bay and even proved pretty convenient for head coach Bruce Arena.
“It was great,” said Arena. “I actually got to walk here and see all these fans celebrate the championship.”
Added Omar Gonzalez, himself a Beach Cities resident from nearby Manhattan Beach, “To have this event here was amazing. We had the chance to speak to the fans and thank them for all their support. To be honest, this trophy isn’t just for us, it’s for the fans and I really do appreciate their support and how amazing that they’ve been for us.”
While the fans crowded around the pier anxious to sneak a peek at the MLS Cup, the true star of the evening was Landon Donovan. The retiring Galaxy star drew great fanfare from the crowd who chanted “One More Year!” at the midfielder, who responded with two fingers raised asking, “two more?”
Donovan quickly shook off that talk, however, telling the assembled crowd that he will remain a fixture in Los Angeles soccer for years to come. But before he left he did share a simple message with the group stating that despite all the glory that he accumulated throughout his tenure as a professional, Sunday’s win was the greatest day of his career.
While the players and front office members that spoke provided kind words for the U.S. Soccer legend, none was more meaningful than Robbie Keane who declared “Landon Donovan is the LA Galaxy” and will continue to be in the future.
“Whatever he does in the future, I wish him well. I wish him the best in whatever he does in the future,” said Keane who bought drinks for fans at Hennessey’s bar an hour before the festivities began. “I’m sure that he’s going to be doing something and I hope that he’s going to be involved with the Galaxy because he certainly deserves to be.”