CARSON, Calif. – David Ferreira had won praise from teammates and coaches – his own as well as opponents’ – throughout the season, and on Sunday showed that he is indeed worth the hype.
Ferreira scored a goal and had an assist as FC Dallas thoroughly defeated the LA Galaxy 3-0 in the Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center.
The victory sends FCD to MLS Cup for the first time in their history, while the Galaxy failed to reach their seventh MLS Cup and will no longer be able to atone for last season’s final loss to Real Salt Lake.
Kevin Hartman made several strong early saves to keep the Galaxy from breaking through. Just seven minutes in, Mike Magee tested Hartman with a long-distance blast that the FCD 'keeper stretched to parry away.
Hartman would come up big twice more in the following minutes. First, he would stop Juninho's shot in the 21st after the Brazilian slipped in through on the right side of the box. Two minutes later, David Beckham sent a bouncing ball into the area and Hartman reacted late but ultimately tapped it away.
With the Galaxy holding the majority of the attempts, though, it was the visitors who finally broke through. Ferreira took a ball from Marvin Chavez at the top of the penalty area. The midfielder faked to his left and froze Omar Gonzalez, then turned to his right and ripped a ball past Donovan Ricketts.
The Galaxy nearly answered when Landon Donovan raced into the penalty area and picked out the right corner, but Hartman dove and brushed the shot away.
FC Dallas put the game away early in the second half. Nine minutes after resuming play, Brek Shea slipped a ball across a congested penalty area and George John buried a shot into the roof of the goal as Ricketts was helpless to stop it.
The Galaxy couldn’t do much to come back and grew increasingly frustrated as the game went on. Chris Birchall, Alex Cazumba and Beckham picked up yellow cards in the second half, all after Dema Kovalenko had been booked midway through the first.
In the 72nd minute, Ferreira and Chavez put the icing on the cake. Returning the favor, Ferreira sent Chavez a well-placed through ball and the speedster easily ripped a shot into the back of the net past a charging Ricketts .
FC Dallas did well to kill the game off as the Galaxy quietly closed out the game, failing to test Hartman again before Beckham’s stoppage-time free kick.
With the 3-0 win, the Hoops booked their ticket to Canada and will face the Colorado Rapids in Toronto's BMO Field on Nov. 21 for the right to lift the MLS Cup. (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, ESPN, Galavision)
DAL -- David Ferreira 1 (Marvin Chavez 1, Atiba Harris 1) 26
DAL -- George John 1 (Brek Shea 2, Ugo Ihemelu 1) 54
DAL -- Marvin Chavez 1 (David Ferreira 3) 73
LA -- Dema Kovalenko (caution; Reckless Tackle) 31
LA -- David Beckham (caution; Dissent) 73
LA -- Chris Birchall (caution; Reckless Foul) 82
LA -- Alex Cazumba (caution; Reckless Foul) 84
DAL -- Zach Loyd (caution; Tactical Foul) 85
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Jackson
Goncalves, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez,
Marvin Chavez (Zach Loyd 74), Dax McCarty
87), David Ferreira, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Atiba Harris.
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Avila, Jeff Cunningham, Bruno Guarda, Ruben Luna, Dario Sala.
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin,
Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Lewis (Jovan Kirovski
82), David Beckham, Juninho, Dema Kovalenko (Chris Birchall 65), Landon
Donovan, Edson Buddle, Mike Magee (Alex Cazumba 55).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Josh Saunders.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Michael Kennedy
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees