Galaxy tops Dallas to clinch Supporters Shield

GalaxyCelebrate (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

Wire to wire this season, the Los Angeles Galaxy have held the league's best record and on Sunday night were finally rewarded.

The Galaxy clinched the Supporters Shield with a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas, in front of 24,993 at the Home Depot Center. The victory helped the Galaxy finish three points clear of Real Salt Lake in the race for the Supporters Shield. It was the second time all season in which the Galaxy were able to battle back from an opening deficit. Following last week's disappointing loss to Colorado, to battle back against Dallas was just what the Galaxy needed going into the playoffs.

"We needed this game, we haven’t been in a game where we have been forced to win, forced to show up and play hard and fight and scrap for everything we could get and we did that tonight," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "I am really pleased and that is the kind of game that should give our team and players a lot of confidence as we go into a difficult series against Seattle.”

Atiba Harris opened the scoring for Dallas with a header that beat Donovan Ricketts after receiving a splendid cross from Eric Alexander. With the dreams of the Shield slipping away, Landon Donovan provided the spark that the Galaxy needed to get back into the match. After appearing to shove Jackson Gonclaves to the ground, Donovan delivered a pass to David Beckham, who fired the shot in from 20-yards-out to tie the score.

After the Beckham goal, Los Angeles was energized heading into the half and began to assert control over Dallas. The Galaxy took the lead just moments after the start of the second half when Juninho fired a howler from 18-yards out that beat Dario Sala. The club turns its focus now to a first round date with the Seattle Sounders. The Galaxy open up that series on Sunday, October 31st at Qwest Field. Los Angels won the regular season series with the Sounders, but have not played Seattle since July before the club made their dramatic run to the playoffs.   

“We have played well against them, but they are a different team than they were earlier in the year. We won both games by 7-1 total goals, " said Donovan. "We will confident going in there, but they are very good [at Qwest] and their crowd will be lively. I am looking forward to it, I can’t wait.”

Despite the loss, the night was not entirely negative for Schaellas Hyndman's men. The club welcomed back goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to the starting 18 after a five week absence due to injury. Following the match, Hyndman admitted that he expects Hartman to play a role in the club's playoff series with Real Salt Lake. Dallas hosts the RSL on October 30th at Pizza Hut Park.

FC Dallas split its series with the defending champions this year, with both teams winning at home, 2-0. With less than a week until its match up, the onus will be on Dallas to correct the mistakes from tonight's tough loss.

“It was a difficult game, we couldn’t get the win tonight because we made mistakes," said midfielder David Ferreira. "Now, we have to rest and work on correcting the mistakes this week during training because we know that we can’t commit the same mistakes against Real Salt Lake because this upcoming game is decisive.”

Although the Galaxy took home the Supporters Shield, the night was not a celebration for everyone. By failing to score a goal in match against Dallas, Edson Buddle failed in his quest to win the Golden Boot. San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski won the award with 18 goals. Following the match, Donovan stated that he felt it was Buddle, who was the better goal scorer throughout the season.

"Awards like that are always disappointing because in the end, Edson gets punished for making the World Cup team," said Donovan. "Wondolowski was there all year and had an opportunity to play more games, taking nothing away from [Wondolowski] because he did great this week to win it, but from day one to now, Edson Buddle has been the best player in the league."

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36 Responses to Galaxy tops Dallas to clinch Supporters Shield

  1. bgix says:

    This was my preferred matchup for the Sounders. Not because I harbor any illusions about how easy it will be (although I do fear RSL more), but because I have yet to see Beckham play against the Sounders here at Qwest. And if I am feeling the need for revenge against anybody, it would be the Gals.

  2. dinomitedan says:

    Lets GO Galaxy!

  3. PC says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the Galaxy have already repeated as MLS Champions.

  4. DomiNate says:

    US Open Cup Champs vs. the League Champs. Biggest fan base vs. biggest names in MLS.

    Garber must be pinching himself.

  5. dj voter says:

    LA should bring the supporter’s shield with them, put it on the bench

  6. Terry says:

    I don’t know if more seats will be open, but could be 45-50,000 at Qwest for this one. Considering Beckham and Donovan. Great job Galaxy to get the best record. They deserve it. Anyone, questioning the validity of the MLS Cup title should look at the NFL. The best record does not win the title. I know, they don’t play equal games against each other. Still, the winner of the regular season gets home field advantage but not a championship.

  7. HoBo says:

    Galaxy are the league champs plain and simple according to any other league around the world but we do like our playoffs here. Supporters’ Shield has a little bit more glamor to it this year with it being so close!

  8. ShaggyReAL says:

    You live in fantasy land then, or England.

  9. Oog says:

    I like the playoff system. The EPL is lame that you can decide a champion with several games left because one is so far ahead. Kind of an anti-climatic championship. The playoffs bring out the grit in the MLS and makes it far more exciting than any other league.

  10. woerner says:

    I also like the playoff system…. but lets go to 1v8, 2v7, etc….. conference winners are guaranteed 1 & 2 seed, but after that it is the best records.

  11. slr says:

    just like last year?

  12. KCB says:

    This is ridiculous! The 4 top clubs in the league are all in the Western bracket! (unless NY keeps Henry on the bench and starts Angel, but I honestly see it being the other way around). Come on, I mean Columbus v. Colorado? FCD should get CBus, LA v SJ, you know what I’m getting at. Gotta be 1v8, etc. MLS, you gotta fix this for next year.

  13. Shark says:

    Dude my club RSL are the defending champs…and will win it again thank you very much…like Shaggy said you must live England like my relatives on my mom’s side of the family do….

  14. dena says:

    Tim Ream is going to shut Wondo down.

  15. jamesey says:

    as a galaxy fan, i’m confused by “repeat”

    we didn’t win anything last year.

    anyways, WE ARE CHAMPIONS!!!! MLS Cup is just a four match MLS Fall Classic tournament. It’s no more difficult than the US Open Cup. The shield represents domination over 30 matches.

  16. Dougs says:

    Seattle ain’t top four anymore. I think we are six. That said, I would like the eastern v western conf playlets division ended. 1-8 no
    Matter your conf. would be better.

  17. Terry says:

    The Galaxy still have something from winning the Supporters Sheild. They get entrance to the group stages of the Champions Leaguel That is a big deal. Other leagues aroung the world have relegation and Champions League spots that are cared about. Yes, they won the regular season’s best record. They get something from that. Now, there is another tournament. Forget the rest of the world. This is our tournament. If they win that. Two trophies. Seattle is a tough order though. Good, they have the one trophy.

  18. slyboy says:

    Any other league except for Brazil and Mexico… There is not just one way to do it.

  19. Fred Garvin says:

    SSFC vs LA

    sweet

  20. ChiTownFire says:

    Indeed, I don’t know why so much importance is put on the playoffs, considering how flawed they are. I think to get a more accurate outcome it should be single table 1-8, 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7 and so forth. Also, I’d like to see the semifinals and finals be two legs instead of one, it would be more accurate. When a team only plays one game to decide who advances and wins in the semifinal round and final round it’s not as accurate because they might have gotten lucky that day.

  21. Neruda says:

    Are you saying the shield (lower case ‘s’) is it for the gals? So as a fan you won’t care if they don’t win MLS Cup, an actual 3d trophy? C’mon RSL. MLS Cup and CCL glory.

    Oh also if the US Open Cup is so easy than why didn’t LA take it?

  22. CA says:

    Even before we knew LA were coming to town there were over 30,000 tickets sold. That number should increase dramatically in the next few days.

  23. david is giving juninho a nugy in that pic. . .

  24. DomiNate says:

    And we can bring our two Open Cup trophies, they’re much more impressive (looking)

  25. Neruda says:

    Well said. Playoffs do create more revenue for a league but fans get something from it too. Let’s not kid ourselves about the EPL’s and other leagues desire to make money. If the European sched. wasn’t chalk full of other tournaments of club and country I’m sure they would extend their seasons or adopt a playoffs for the added revenue. MLS regular season games are started to be more pressure packed with a higher standard of play and more teams competing for fewer playoff spots. In the coming years it will be the best of both worlds with intense regular season sched + ultra intense playoff and championship game.

  26. Neruda says:

    Just a refresh on MLS history: In 2005 it was SJ that won the season (SS) in but LA won the league Cup. Are you saying that SJ was were true champs of 05?

  27. fsegaud says:

    oh, how nice…we have two of those too.

  28. Scott A says:

    I just watched the replay of Beckham’s goal. Hilaarious push by Donovan. So nonchalant.

  29. Emerald_City_Jason says:

    Epic match-up. We’ve got our tix for the Halloween game. Think everyone has fallen asleep on the Galaxy. Nervous, but super geeked.

  30. sciroccer says:

    Are you sick or something??? Go ahead and scratch the playoffs and the Supporters Shield all together. Look again at the stats if you want the best team. RSL are best by far!! Goals for/Goals against will tell you that. Top of their group in CCL. Longest home unbeaten streak. And no DP’s! You can enjoy that shield all of next year while we retain the MLS Cup, and go play CCL in Japan next year.

  31. sciroccer says:

    I hate that the league lets big name players get away with stupid fouls like that. That should have been a card. Stupid play like Donovans push last night is what makes a lot of people think soccer is a lame sport.

  32. Aristotle says:

    Did anyone else notice that none of the goals in this game should have happened?

    Juninho’s goal to win the game should never have been a goal. The shot was right down the middle of the goal and required very little movement by the goalkeeper. If not for the idiot defender standing right in front of Sala that would have been a relatively easy stop for Sala. Even with the defender completely blinding him Sala almost got it. You have to wonder what Sala was thinking too. Why didn’t he tell the defender to get the he*l out of the way?

    The other two goals should have been disallowed. The goal by Dallas was clearly offside. The goal by LA should clearly have been disallowed because of a blatant foul. I was shocked at how clueless the announcers were on both of these goals. On one they completely ignored the offense like it didn’t happen, and on the other they were saying there was no offside because the player who scored wasn’t offside. On the Dallas goal it’s true Harris wasn’t offside, but Cunningham, who was right next to him, was. You can’t consider Cunningham to have not been involved in the play, because he was. The cross seemed to be aimed for him and he went for it, and Sala’s initial focus was on him. The only reason Cunningham didn’t touch the ball was because he couldn’t get to it. Right up until the ball went over his head Cunningham was looking to head it, and Sala was positioning himself to handle a header from Cunningham. Cunningham was clearly involved in the play and he was definitely offside. If he wanted to be considered passive and not involved he shouldn’t have gone for the ball and should have walked away from the goal.

    On the goal by Beckham, Donovan clearly fouled the Dallas defender to get the ball and set Beckham up for the shot. This one seemed really absurd. Not just because of how obvious the fouls was, (a two handed shove into the back?)but also because the ref was right there watching it.

    It’s getting harder and harder to see how LA could win the MLS Cup the way they are playing. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Seattle beat them.

  33. cowtown says:

    I thought the Dallas goal was offside at first, but there’s an LA defender why up by the sideline that keeps everyone onside; that was a good goal.

    Donovan did foul Jackson, that one should have been an ended chance, but I don’t blame Landy, because the only alternative was Jackson clearing the ball.

    I had stepped away from the TV for the Juninho goal, but it may have been deflected.

  34. mikeb says:

    “After appearing to shove Jackson Gonclaves to the ground, Donovan delivered a pass to David Beckham,”

    LOL. “Appearing?” Much like JFK “appeared” to get shot in the head while riding in his car. I’m actually a fan of Donovan, and have nothing against LA, but the non-call was a bad joke.

  35. Aristotle says:

    I just looked at the replay of the Harris goal over and over again, and I don’t see how the player you are talking about makes Cunningham on side, but it is hard to see.

    I also didn’t see any deflection on the Juninho goal, but it didn’t really matter, the same player completely blinded his keeper.

  36. BAJ says:

    funny thing is that was in retaliation to the exact same type of push that Gonclaves gave to Donovan just outside the box a couple plays prior. It was a non-call there too. At least there was consistancy.