The LA Galaxy have defeated the Seattle Sounders 4-2 on aggregate to advance to their eighth MLS Cup. As a result of the Galaxy winning the Western Conference and lower seeded Houston Dynamo winning the Eastern Conference, the LA Galaxy will be hosting MLS Cup 2012 on December 1st.
If MLS were a game of monopoly, then the Galaxy had possession of Park Place and Boardwalk and were looking to build a house on Park Place. D.C. United opened up MLS history with four straight conference championships. Since then the LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, and Houston Dynamo have all managed to win back to back Conference finals.
D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo are the only two MLS Clubs to ever win back to back MLS Cup titles. The LA Galaxy are in a position to be the third. The LA Galaxy are in a position to build a house on Boardwalk.
In winning a spot in MLS Cup the Galaxy have once again secured a spot in CONCACAF Champions League. In the Champions League era, the Galaxy have made the tournament four of the six times it's been/will be played.
Some folk are going to want to complain about the handball call. At the time it was called, LA led the aggregate series against Seattle 3-2 and everything was in doubt. Robbie Keane's cross from the endline hit a left hand then bounced up and hit a right hand. Conspiracy theorists should try a little harder.
Keane beat Gspurning mentally on the penalty kick, stuttering long enough to get the keeper to dive then tapping the ball gently in the other direction.
Bruce Arena didn't want anything to do with the trophy ceremony. He yelled at the camera to get it going, and then Robbie Keane lifted the trophy like he was Indiana Jones switching out an idol. The team was walking to the locker room when the confetti cannons went off.
It'll feature two teams with the worst regular season finishes in MLS Cup in MLS history, worse than the FC Dallas - Colorado Rapids final of 2010 which saw the fourth best record take on the seventh best. Still, this is the system that MLS chose.
Everything was stacked against both these clubs. Instead of arguing meritocracy points and how MLS encourages mediocrity; marvel at the fact that two clubs who had to play an extra game, and on the road for the final game of both aggregate series, were able to advance to the Cup final.
It's a repeat of last year's final. It's Bruce Arena'a sixth MLS Cup in about nine years worth of MLS coaching. No doubt, it's a fine coaching achievement.
Fitting that it was vice captain Robbie Keane to get the goal. With Landon Donovan stepping back Keane has been a huge part of the Galaxy keeping it together long enough to get back to MLS Cup. Fitting that it was Robbie Keane to lift the Conference trophy is only ever so briefly.
The LA Galaxy are hosting MLS Cup. Let it sink in. It's a good feeling.