Mike Magee, David Beckham and Robbie Keane were the difference makers for the Los Angeles Galaxy as their quick counters and excellent set-piece work was able to pick apart the piece-meal defense of Real Salt Lake. RSL fought hard to disrupt the Galaxy, but didn't have enough in the tank late to push through. Injuries to key players and fatigue from the hard fought battle with the Seattle Sounders seemed to have taken their toll on the 2009 champions at the end of the 3-1 loss. The Galaxy will play a home game in the final thanks to their amazing regular season record.*
The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City faced off on the weaker side of the bracket. Dominic Kinnear showed again why he's one of the best coaches in the league as his well-prepared squad peaked at the right time in the playoffs. Tough, well-organized defense and set-piece excellence were able to help pull the Dynamo to a 2-0 win despite an troubling injury to Brad Davis. Their team (and possibly league) MVP will miss the MLS Cup final due to a torn quadriceps muscle.
More after the jump:
Less Tats, More Games: The NBA lock-out continues to drag-on with both the owners and the players looking like greedy millionaires. One beneficiary of the on-going mess is Major League Soccer. The success of recent expansion teams like the Seattle Sounders have helped the MLS reach an all-time attendance high (17,870 on average). That surpasses both the NBA (17,319) and NHL (17,126). Soccer fans, especially those still bitter about the loss of the Sonics, approve.
Fernandez El Segundo: The Castrol Index final rankings are out for those of you interested in all-inclusive statistical rankings based on opaque reasoning. San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski takes the top spot while Seattle's own Alvaro Fernandez comes in a close second with Thierry Henry, Omar Gonzalez and Aurelien Collin rounding out the top five. In fact, in opposition to many of these types of rankings, defenders make up a large chunk of the top 25 players on the list.
Impact in South America: The Montreal Impact are in South America doing the international scouting thing ahead of their debut in MLS next season. Sporting director Nick De Santis and head coach Jesse Marsch flew past Colombia in favor of stops in Argentina, Chile and Ecuador. Comments by De Santis indicate the Impact will be counting on the expansion draft to fill in the core of their team and won't be making a rash of signings prior to the expansion draft. We'll call this the not-Vancouver Whitecaps roster building strategy.
Shea Needs Some Downtime: I remember being 21 fondly. The endless amounts of energy and the bottomless pool of stamina for 1:00 AM keg-stands. Yet even a bright and peppy 21 year old like Brek Shea needs some down-time. Dallas FC coach Schellas Hyndman worked him like a rented mule down the stretch of the season and the mental and physical fatigue showed.
How Good Things Are in KC: Their CEO made an offer to a Spanish player to be a DP today. Yes, that would be a 3rd DP for Sporting Kansas City. Revenue controlled stadiums can do some magic.
French Proposal for UEFA Enforced Salary Cap: France already has a limit on expenditures, but L'Orient club President wants a dramtatic expansion of Financial Fair Play to give a hard cap to teams throughout Europe. His primary driver would be to have clubs limited to a share of league TV revenue.
*Author's note - This statement represents what the author believes should have happened. In reality Don Garber gave the final to AEG well before the Supporter's Shield race was over in an cynical attempt to help David Beckham get a MLS Cup in his last season with the Galaxy.