Western Conference Quicky: If you blinked you missed Robbie Keane holding what I presume is the Western Conference trophy aloft (that’s AEG headf honcho Tim Leiweike to his left) after the Galaxy’s “win” in cold, rainy and hostile Seattle. That’s because it was the world’s quickest victory celebration with a trophy that means little with MLS Cup looming at home in Carson Dec. 1 (AP Photo).
Last year’s MLS Cup win at Home Depot Center seemed almost inevitable for the Galaxy, Supporters Shield winners.
This year it is improbable in the extreme, a lucky penalty call Sunday in Seattle helping ease the wild card berth-winning Galaxy home to the final against an improved Houston Dynamo side for the second successive year.
Yet MLS Cup 2011 will replay Dec. 1 in Carson in the 2012 edition.
Staunch Seattle fans made this a night to remember in atrocious conditions even if the home side fell short, but for the Galaxy it was a disciplined mission accomplished given the head start ahead of the real task at hand.
“Well we didn’t play particularly well tonight; there’s no question about that,” said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. “We did what we came here to do, to advance into the MLS Cup finals, so that was achieved. Obviously the conditions were difficult, with the surface and the rain and Seattle played quite well, no question about that. Having said all that, we won this competition 4-2 and deserve to move forward. We’ve got a couple weeks to get ready for a real good team. Houston’s in terrific form right now, so it’s going to be a heck of a challenging final.”
Oh, and here’s why ref Marc Geiger called the Galaxy PK (not often you see this kind of explanation): “The hand was in an unnatural playing position, and he was making himself bigger by taking space,” Geiger said. “His arms were outside of his body. [Jhon Kennedy] Hurtado’s arm was next to his body, he was not making himself bigger, and this was a case of “ball-to-hand.”