The two-time MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy have a fan base that rivals any club in the league. In this exclusive TopDrawerSoccer.com footage, we went behind the scenes with the one of the Galaxy’s supporter groups, the Angel City Brigade. Follow the raucous group before and after one of the biggest matches of the season.
This time last year Charlie Rugg was struggling to stay awake in French Lit class (Ok, I’m confusing him with my own college career, but you get the point), now he’s hanging out with good friends Landon Donovan and Obama at the White House.
Not a bad turn of events, but that’s what happens when you’re drafted by the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy who are taking their visit to Obama’s crib today to celebrate their title. Personally, I thought there was such a thing as rookie hazing; you know, where you carry bags and miss out on trips to the White House, but I can’t be mad at Rugg, the former Boston College standout who is living it up in his first year in the league.
Just so you know, I’m all in on Football Manager these days. Not only can the program help you land your dream job, but it can also predict the future – kind of.
Football Manager’s most recent project was to simulate the upcoming MLS Cup between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. By quantifying all the player and tactical variables (nerd jargon, stay cool and keep reading) the program ran results of 10 matchups. And if this thing knows what it’s talking about, and it usually does, it looks as though we’re in for a close contest. Here are the results:
Galaxy 5 wins, Dynamo 5 wins
Galaxy 16 goals, Dynamo 12 goals
Digging a little deeper we found that the matches went into overtime 50 percent of the time and went to PKs 40 percent of the time.
The only thing Football Manager could not simulate was David Beckham showing up to his final MLS match LIKE THIS then delivering a rousing speech and handing each of his teammates their own pair of H&M underwear. We’re afraid technology just isn’t yet equipped to measure Beckhamness.
Apparently, last season when the LA Galaxy hosted Houston Dynamo for the MLS Cup in its own backyard, someone yelled out: Hey, same time next year?
And so here we are: the MLS Cup turning into a private holiday party hosted by the Galaxy, featuring the Dynamo.
The matchup is sexy, so there’s no complaint there, but the format is flawed. Remind me again why the Galaxy get to host the league title match for the second year in a row? Everyone’s just OK with this?
It’s pretty much unprecedented in a winner-take-all professional championship match that one team regularly gets to treat the game like a regular season home game. That’s taking the term “home-field advantage” a little too far if you ask me.
But, hey, what the glamor team wants, it gets.
Dynamo Eastern Conference highlights after the jump.
There are certain lasting MLS traditions: the MLS Cup, for example; the Seattle Sounders having awesome fans, and the annual speculation about David Beckham retiring. The guy’s been in the league for five years but somehow it feels like 40. Everyone is in such a hurry to put his career in perspective but we never quite get the chance because he keeps showing up for work each year.
Anyway, the Galaxy made sure we won’t put Becks out to pasture for at least another couple games. Somehow they managed to beat the league’s top team, San Jose, 3-1 and advance to the West Final. Robbie Keane was brilliant and Landon Donovan’s spirit even made a cameo and joined his body for a change.
For 70 minutes, it looked like the Vancouver Whitecaps were about to knock off the defending MLS Cup champs.
An early goal from former Akron Zip Darren Mattocks looked like it just might stand up as the winner, as the LA Galaxy controlled possession but couldn’t put anything away — that is, until Mike Magee’s tying goal on a nice volley from a corner kick.
That cued the floodgates, more or less, for LA, which scored again just a few minutes later from Landon Donovan’s penalty kick to advance in the playoffs and set up a playoff series against San Jose Earthquakes.
After another hectic weekend of action in America’s top flight, five teams in the Western Conference and five out East all mathematically sealed their spots with one eye on the MLS Cup. Pick of the action was D.C. United’s thrilling 3-2 defeat of the Columbus Crew – catch the highlights above.
But before switching focus to the playoffs themselves, one more week of regular season action remains with much to be decided, as the upcoming playoff matchups are far from certain.
For now, check out the ten playoff teams after the jump.
After winning the MLS Cup, there’s no better way to celebrate than hitting up the late night circuit. Last night, that’s exactly what David Beckham did by joining Jimmy Kimmel on his late night show. The two discussed the championship, and what it means to Becks, but also the festivities behind the championship win. Of course, Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t resist asking what we are all wondering, will David Beckham stay in America and play for the L.A. Galaxy?
Being the elusive midfielder he is (was), Beckham dodged the question a bit, and I doubt anyone will know a definitive answer until a deal is done. Remember, he had a great time at A.C. Milan when he was on loan, plus there’s always the possibility of returning to England. Who knows what he’ll do? Whether or not he decides to stay, which is a debate that will rage on for months, he has definitely had a positive impact on soccer in America.
Below are the first and second segments of David Beckham’s interview with Jimmy Kimmel: