Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Galaxy on the brink of historic first at home
by Ridge Mahoney, November 18th, 2011 2:31AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS CUP COUNTDOWN] Besides the Galaxy this year, only two teams have rolled through the regular season unbeaten at home, and neither captured MLS Cup. Los Angeles, in fact, is the only one of the three teams to reach MLS Cup after going unbeaten at home. San Jose stumbled in 2005, and last year, Real Salt Lake tumbled to eventual MLS Cup finalist FC Dallas.

The Galaxy played spoiler in 2005. It finished ninth among the 12 teams in total points, yet snuck into the playoffs as the eighth and final seed, and in the conference semifinals knocked off San Jose, which had posted a 9-0-7 record at Spartan Stadium. A 3-1 win in the first leg at Home Depot Center catapulted Los Angeles to a 4-2 aggregate win.

Six years after being on the losing end, Houston coach Dominic Kinnear can turn the tables if his team can spring an upset. “That was a great season, except for how it ended,” said Kinnear, who had taken over as San Jose head coach the year before when Frank Yallop resigned to take over the Canadian national team. “We really had a good team that year [San Jose also won the Supporters’ Shield with an 18-4-10 record] but we knew playing our biggest rivals in the playoffs was going to be tough.

“We were losing in the first leg in LA, 2-1, which would have been all right, because we’d be pretty confident of turning around a one-goal deficit at our place. But that third goal really kind of killed us.”

Ex-Quake Landon Donovan’s strike in the 83rd minute turned out to be the winning goal of the two-game series.

RSL’s near-invincibility at Rio Tinto Stadium last season propelled it to an 11-0-4 record, the highest home percentage (.867) in league history. But like the Quakes in 2005, RSL couldn’t get out of the first round and stumbled to a 1-1 tie at home. Having lost the first leg in Dallas, 2-1, despite its remarkable season while defending its 2009 title, RSL went out.

“I think we used it as motivation for this [2011] season in the league and Concacaf as well,” says RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman, “but that really stung. As bad as it was for us, the players and the coaches and the organization, we were disappointed for our fans. They had been through a lot with us and they kind of expected we’d at least get back to the final. So did we, I guess.”

Both San Jose and RSL stumbled in the first round of the playoffs while failing to win the home leg. In its two home playoff games this season, the Galaxy beat New York, 2-1, and thumped RSL, 3-1. That’s 14 wins and five ties in 19 home games and sets up the Galaxy to finish off its season at home in front of a rowdy, sellout crowd in MLS Cup 2011.

Prior to the playoffs, forward Chad Barrett said of the HDC record, “Look how other teams are going to look at it; 12-0-5 and we have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Come and play us here. It’s not an easy thing to do.”



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Injury toll mounts    
Emerson Hyndman and Joe Gyau in Europe, Greg Garza at Tijuana, the news was not good ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
D.C. and Orlando City played to a 1-1 draw in preseason action on Friday. Two matches ...
49ers and NBA Kings ante up on Sac MLS bid    
Sacramento Republic FC ownership continues to grow with the announcement that San Francisco 49ers owner and ...
U.S. women head to Europe without three stars    
Four months ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup, the USA heads to Europe for friendlies ...
MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick will return    
Out-of-market packages MLS Live, MLS's subscription streaming service, and MLS Direct Kick, MLS's cable and satellite ...
What They're Saying: Paul Rogers    
"Did I want to pull out [of the U.S. team] this close to a World Cup? ...
MLS Trade Central: Agudelo returns to Revs    
The New England Revolution got a boost for its MLS title hopes when 22-year-old Juan Agudelo ...
Chelsea vs. Man City: Showdown At Stamford Bridge     
On Saturday, two of the most expensive teams money can buy will square off in a ...
What They're Saying: Bob Gansler    
"I'm doing fine. I recovered quite quickly, to their surprise. I was able to leave (the ...
Video Pick: Back-heel volley golazo from Chelsea youngster     
Kasey Palmer, an 18-year-old midfielder, scored this beautiful goal in U-21 action against West Ham.
>> Soccer America Daily Archives