CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy assistant coach Pat Noonan found it difficult to hold back his emotions after Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the MLS Cup at StubHub Center.


His eyes were red and his voice started to break as he talked about the Galaxy’s hard-earned victory fashioned at the expense of his close friend, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. Noonan and Heaps were teammates in New England from 2003-2007 and Heaps, named the Revolution’s head coach in November of 2011, has transformed a struggling franchise into one of this season’s biggest success stories.


Noonan said he went out of his way to congratulate Heaps after the game.


“I told him I was proud of him,” Noonan said. “He’s a close friend. It’s nice when people that are important to you succeed. Although they didn’t win the title … he’s a great guy and a great coach and will have much more success.”


Noonan acknowledged he experienced bittersweet emotions all week, but the reality of the situation didn’t sink in until the game’s conclusion.


“I’m a competitive guy and I enjoy winning. I’m sure everybody in that other locker room is saying the same thing,” he said. “You’re worried about your team and what you can control, and you just want to enjoy the feeling of a championship after everything is said and done. And I’m really happy for everyone involved to enjoy it.


“Obviously on the other end I feel for Jay because I know how much work he put into it this year. It’s easier said than done, but they should hold their heads high because they had an incredible year.”


It also was a tough week for Galaxy goalkeeper coach Matt Reis, who was a member of the Revolution from 2003-2013 and ended a 16-year MLS career last December after sustaining a torn tendon in his left thigh.


Reis, facing a long recovery, chose instead to retire and joined the Galaxy coaching staff last December.


Reis said he found it heartwarming to see so many old friends and former teammates at Sunday’s game, but he also couldn’t help but experience some mixed emotions regarding the final result.


“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m very happy for the outcome and to be a champion again, but at the same time at New England’s expense is something I’m not too happy about. I have a lot of friends there, and to see their sad faces after the game was tough for me.”


Reis, who shaved off his beard after the game – “Playoffs are over; goodbye,” he said with a grin – said Sunday’s result was rewarding.


To a point.


“Unfortunately there has to be a winner and a loser,” he said. “It is bittersweet for me, but by no means am I unhappy about it. It’s something we as a group have worked really, really hard for.


“I’m just relieved the season is over. It’s been amazing.”