Galaxy 2 Houston 0
It was a weird game in a weird season that started with a franchise coming off a worst-ever year, a new coach, 16 or so new players, seemingly interminable and in some cases lucky draws and a very public spat between the team’s two superstars.
On Friday, there were two lengthy and disorienting 18-minute power outages (attributed to overly-sensitive floodlights that cut out if there’s a power fluctuation) to add to the unusually late kickoff to accommodate TV as well as overtime that led to the game finishing just before 11:30 p.m.
There were unlikely heroes in Gregg Berhalter and Alan Gordon, who drew the penalty that allowed Donovan to nail the goal and sole posession of the MLS record for post-season goals.
This, players proclaimed in word and action, was a team.
“We don’t want to end it here,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena. “A bunch of you know what we looked like at the start of the year. … At no time did I think we’d (have a chance to) win the MLS Cup.”
“We needed to make a play to kill the game and we made it and they didn’t,” said Landon Donovan. “We worked on set plays a lot over the past couple of weeks. It should be a bigger part of our game and it isn’t. We’ve got a few guys good in the air and we’ve got maybe the best server of the ball on the planet, so we want to be better at it and we scored a great goal today.
“You’ve got to put them away,” said defender Gregg Berhalter of his first Galaxy goal that came at a crucial time and was quite the ruthless display of opportunistic finishing the likes of Michael Owen would have been proud of. “It’s been a long time coming, seriously,” “We’re not happy with the fact we haven’t scored a lot of goals from set pieces and we scored one today.
Oh, and in other weirdness former Galaxy player Simon Elliott is World Cup bound; New Zealand beat Bahrain 1-0 Saturday to secure a spot in South Africa.