David Beckham bowed out with a bang as the Los Angelas Galaxy lifted the Anschutz Trophy in the wake of a 3-1 MLS Cup victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
Beckham, who announced that the 2012 season would be his final as a member of the Galaxy, walked off the pitch at The Home Depot Center to rousing applause from the home supporters.
“Today is a special day for us to win another championship in front of our fans at home,” Beckham told the media following the championship match. “In front of our friends, family … it was really special. Today’s a good day.”
It didn’t look like it was going to be a particularly swell day for Beckham and his Galaxy teammates during the first half. Stagnant play by both sides gave way to an opportunity for the guests in the shadow of halftime.
Adam Moffat played it over the top to Calen Carr, who latched onto it, shook Omar Gonzalez, and sent over a perplexed Josh Saunders in the 44th minute.
“We ended up not doing so well on that play,” Gonzalez told the media. “I think that we realized that, we corrected it and it didn’t really happen again.”
The Galaxy roared back in the second half. Gonzalez got his revenge at the hour when he nodded a cross from Juninho past Tally Hall for the equalizer.
Riding the momentum of the Gonzalez goal, the Galaxy caught Houston on its back heel only minutes later. Mike Magee biked a close shot that deflected off Ricardo Clark’s arm, and the penalty was awarded. Landon Donovan, who hinted at retirement in the weeks leading up to the game, buried it to give the Galaxy the go-ahead.
“I think that was obviously the moment where things changes, and from there we just kept putting pressure,” Donavan told the media. “It felt almost inevitable that the second goal was going to come.”
Although Houston hunted for the equalizer late, Keane drew a penalty in stoppage time after Hall pulled him down inside the area. This time, it was Keane who stepped up and sent it through to seal it for the defending champions.
“All the way through the season, we had players out of games and young players and players that weren’t in the starting 11 come into the game and perform,” Beckham said. “This game and this championship is about the whole squad, not just the starting 11.”