Thursday, November 29, 2012

The MLS Cup 2012 - Last game for Beckham

Beckham confirms that the MLS Cup 2012 will be his Last at the Galaxy

david beckham galaxy 2012Super soccer star David Beckham has had a great run in the MLS while playing for LA. Several seasons of hard work culminated last year when the Galaxy won the 2011 MLS Cup. Some thought Beckham would hang up his boots then, after accomplishing one of his major goals - winning the Cup. 

But Beckham returned in 2012 and LA are in the final yet again. It was not as easy to get to the final, and Beckham has decided it will be his last game as a player for LA. 

I am sure his teammates and all the Galaxy fans hope Beckham s final game ends in a win.

What has Beckham done for the MLS?

Beckham has done quite a bit to help Major League Soccer reach where it is today. He was one of the first big soccer superstars to come to the MLS (other than Pele years ago) and opened the door for people such as Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane to follow. 

He also helped to lift the level of play by presenting an example of what quality free-kicks should be like. How many different MLS players have now had a chance to see a world class set-piece taker whip a ball into the box? Nearly all of them.

Looking to the Future of the MLS

With Beckham on his way out, there is a space left open, not only on the Galaxy, but in the MLS for a new superstar to fill. It is hard to tell who or how many world class players may be attracted to the MLS and where they might end up, but it is clear the MLS is becoming more and more of a world class soccer league. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

The MLS Cup 2012 - LA Vs. Houston

The MLS Cup 2012 is set to be a rematch of last year's Cup

The LA Galaxy defeated Seattle 4-2 in a two game series to advance to the MLS Cup while Houston beat DC United 4-2 as well, over a two game series.

The Houston Dynamo will play the Galaxy in LA at the Home Depot Center on December 1st to see who will win the MLS Cup 2012.

A Flashback to the 2011 MLS Cup

LA played Houston last year for the MLS Cup and got the win after a tremendous season in which they won the Supporters Shield (most points during the regular season).

Beckham Holds 2011 MLS Cup
It was a sweet victory for LA as stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan as they had played exceptionally over the entire season.

It was the Galaxy's first Championship win since signing Beckham several seasons earlier.

The final score for the 2011 MLS Cup was LA Galaxy 1, Houston 0. What can we expect for this year?

Reaching the 2012 MLS Cup - Houston and LA

Both Houston's and LA's path to the MLS Cup was anything but pretty.

LA Struggled for the first third of the season, losing games both at home and on the road. They looked nothing like the unstoppable force they had been the year before.

However, after the Euro Cup in the summer, International Star Robbie Keane came back to the Galaxy on a scoring rampage. He ended the season with 16 goals and propelled LA into the playoffs, although they finished a slightly humiliating 8th place overall.

Houston also had some struggles during the regular season losing many of their road games. But, with a strong home record (and a new stadium), they did just enough to reach the playoffs in 9th place overall, and last in the Eastern Conference.

Once LA and Houston reached the 2012 MLS Playoffs, they turned into totally different teams, each defeating the top team in their conference and powering through the rest of the competition, leading to a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup Final.

What to Expect in the 2012 MLS Cup Final

In 2011, the game ended in a tight, 1-0 victory for the Galaxy. I would expect with the Galaxy playing at home again, and the likes of Robbie Keane playing up front, they come out hard against Houston and try to score early and often.

Houston is a veteran playoff team with MLS Cup wins in 2006 and 2007, not to mention last year's near win. They will hold their defensive lines and try to take advantage of set pieces and bursts of possession.

It is shaping up to be an exciting game and will be live on ESPN on December 1st. Don't miss out!