Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
David Beckham of the LA Galaxy holds aloft the winning trophy following victory over the Houston Dynamo in their MLS Cup final at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on November 20, 2011. The LA Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0.
Before a record Home Depot Center crowd on a rainy night, the L.A. Galaxy beat the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, to win the MLS title this season. The game marked the last game in L.A. for soccer star David Beckham.
Injuries, age and bad luck collectively kept David Beckham from being the superstar for the Galaxy that he’d been in Britain. In four years, Beckham and the Galaxy had reached the finals only once — and had lost.
Now, in his last game under the giant contract he’d signed with L.A. five years ago, Beckham had one last chance to bring an MLS title to L.A. In the 56th minute of a scoreless tie with Houston, Beckham flipped the ball ahead to fellow United Kingdom player Robby Keane, who rolled it expertly between the goalkeeper’s legs for a goal.
Only it wasn’t; the linesman ruled Keane was offside, although a TV replay showed he wasn’t. L.A. had kept the ball in the Houston end all game long — and yet, the game was scoreless.
But minutes later, Beckham used his head to punch the ball forward again to Keane, who slid it to his right, then rolled it ahead to Landon Donovan, who chipped it with the outside of his right foot off the goalkeeper’s hand and into the net.
The Galaxy finally had a goal and a lead — and a few minutes later, the MLS Cup. Beckham had a title — and all was right in the Galaxy.