Keane on target as Galaxy take title
LA Galaxy 3 Houston Dynamo 1:Robbie Keane sealed another title for the Los Angeles Galaxy last night as David Beckham bowed out of Major League Soccer. Beckham’s six years with LA will most likely be best remembered for the attention he brought to the team and the MLS. But there is another thing that Beckham brought to the Galaxy: championships.Beckham capped his Galaxy career, in which his commitment to the team was at times questioned, with a second consecutive MLS Cup as the Galaxy rallied to defeat the Houston Dynamo in front of a crowd of 30,510 at the Home Depot Center. It was the Galaxy's fourth MLS title, equaling DC United's record.
"When I'm committed to something, I'm committed to the end," Beckham said, a mild retort to some of the criticism he had received early in his career, including from teammate Landon Donovan. "It's an amazing day today."
Beckham, who has said this is the end of his playing career in MLS, has said he intends to remain involved with American soccer. He is expected to have a part ownership of an MLS franchise, although he has not disclosed his immediate plans. "My commitment stays the same to growing this team, to growing this league, and to growing this sport," said Beckham.
Houston took the lead late in the first half on a goal by Calen Carr, before the Galaxy stormed back with three scores in the second half from Omar Gonzalez and a penalty kick each from Donovan and Keane.
The game was open and attacking from the start, with chances at both ends. In the opening minutes, the Galaxy controlled most of the possession, while Houston threatened on counterattacks. In the 13th minute, Beckham set up the best chance of the opening half when he found Keane in space on the left side. Keane controlled it and played a perfect ball across to Donovan, who was alone in the box but somehow pushed the shot just
wide. Surprised by his miss, Donovan was left holding his head in his hands.
The Dynamo broke the deadlock as the half was winding down, when Adam Moffat played Calen Carr in behind the Galaxy defence, and Carr hammered the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
The Galaxy came out looking determined in the second half, creating a series of chances from set-pieces, with Gonzalez, their big centre-half, dominating in the air. It was Gonzalez who eventually provided the equalizer in the 60th minute. Following a Beckham corner, Juninho lofted the ball back into the box, and Gonzalez headed home at the back post.
"Everyone knew keep down inside that we were going to win a goal, and after we did we were going to win the game," Gonzalez said. The Galaxy continued to pressure, and just minutes later they went ahead. After a foul on Keane, Beckham played the ball into the box, and Gonzalez again won the header. As the ball bounced around in the box, Ricardo Clark was penalised for handball.
Donovan made up for his earlier miss as he stepped up and rolled the penalty shot into the corner. Donovan, who won his fifth title Saturday, has now scored in a record four finals.Houston threw more and more players forward as the clock ticked down but failed to create any significant chances. The Galaxy added third in stoppage time when Mike Magee played a through ball for Keane. He went around Houston keeper Tally Hall, who brought him down. Keane converted the ensuing penalty kick. New York Times Service