Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Galaxy on the brink of historic first at home
by Ridge Mahoney, November 18th, 2011 2:31AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
What They're Saying: Wayne Shaw    
"I think two more than the four you have there." -- Wayne Shaw, pointing to a ...
What They're Saying: Lauren Holiday    
"I have never quite known suffering like I experienced the last 6 months. I can remember ...
CCL: Gonzalez's Pachuca finally shut out    
Pachuca was held without a goal for the first time in 25 games in the Concacaf ...
Datebook: NWSL will open fifth season on April 15    
The National Women's Soccer League will kick off its fifth season April 15 with four games, ...
MLS Moves: Mullins and D.C. extend their partnership    
Not many midseason trades have turned out so well as did the shift of Patrick Mullins ...
MLS Moves: Loons line up Swiss defender    
Another area of need -- outside back -- has been addressed by Minnesota United FC as ...
Sneak Peek: Cabrera and Cubo reunited in Houston    
No returning MLS team has made more changes than Houston. The Dynamo, last in the Western ...
U.S. U-18 girls beat England, 3-1    
Sophia Smith of Real Colorado scored twice after PacNW SC's Summer Yates opened the scoring in ...
Sneak Peek: FC Dallas preps for tough, early start    
Back-to-back 60-point seasons for FC Dallas, the first MLS team to achieve this feat, didn't return ...
U.S. U-20s rebound with win over Haiti    
After opening its U-20 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 loss to Panama, the USA ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives