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MLS Cup: Galaxy-RSL

Greetings from Seattle, where the skies have partially cleared after a stormy morning -- the first extended sunny period in several days. It's breezy and chilly, with temperatures dipping into the upper 30s tonight, but for now, the conditions are pleasant for MLS's grand finale. Between the turf and the wet surface, expect the pitch to play extremely fast.

Before we turn our attention to the match, a few things to look forward to this week:

*With the expansion draft set for Wednesday to supply 10 players to Philadelphia Union, clubs must submit their 11-man protected roster lists to league headquarters by Monday afternoon.

*As we told you exclusively a few days ago, New York is ready to hire a new sporting director: Erik Soler, an executive at Norwegian club Start and a former player agent.

*D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen is finalizing paperwork to make his retirement official, so unless he has a last-second change of heart, an official announcement will happen as early as Tuesday.

*New England is likely to announce Coach Steve Nicol's long-term contract extension soon.

*DCU has spoken to five or six head coaching candidates (some in formal interviews, others in casual conversations) and plans to explore overseas options as well before making a final decision, club president Kevin Payne said.

*Chicago will soon make a decision whether to offer Coach Denis Hamlett a new contract. The guess here is that he will not return. The craziest rumor I heard was Hamlett will be let go and Jesse Marsch, a former Fire regular, retires at Chivas USA and immediately steps into the Chicago coaching role (a la Jason Kreis at RSL). Just a wild, unfounded rumor that was quickly dismissed by Insider contacts.

*Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid (pneumonia) will remain hospitalized for at least another night.

Lineups to come.....
RSL: Rimando; Russell, Olave, Borchers, Wingert; Johnson, Beckerman, Morales, MathisWilliams; Movsisyan, Findley.

LAG: Ricketts; Franklin, Gonzalez, Berhalter, Dunivant; Beckham, Birchall, Kirovski, Donovan; Magee, Buddle.

Kickoff: 8:55 p.m. ET.
TV: ESPN, Galavision (coverage begins at 8:30).

My prediction: 3-2, Real Salt Lake.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome. Enjoy!

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2009; 6:55 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sunday Kickaround
Next: MLS Cup Rewind

Comments

3-2 Salt Lake... I'd like to see that. Or the other way around, for that matter. Five goals would be great.

Gonna be chilly tonight, Steve. I hope they have good coffee in Seattle.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 22, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

My heart says Galaxy win, becuase when Beckham and Donovan are both going balls out, they, to me, are still the two best players in this league. But, I know Gonzalez and Berhalter move about as well as a glacier and Andre the Giant, and I know that Findley is fast as most dream of being, and Movsyssian can't move well enough too. That said, I'm predicting LA to win, scoring 3, and RSL finding 1 or 2. Should be plenty fun enough either way.

Go MLS!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

To put you in a goal-scoring mood, highlights of Tottenham's 9-1 drubbing (8 in the second half, 5 of them belonging to Defoe) of Wigan. Enjoy before the copyright gods remove them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py2jn-D29Io

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

If it goes to PK's, RSL will win. Rimando is excellent in pk's and gives them the huge advantage.

My prediction: 2-2. RSl wins in PK's.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Please, soccer gods, no OT and PK's, let's settle it in 90. I'm actually going to a soccer neophytes house to watch and expect they'll blanch at Extra time as the clock approaches midnight. On a work night.

Posted by: JkR- | November 22, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what kind of WADA-approved medications Beckham is taking tonight for his gimpy ankle....

Posted by: Juan-John | November 22, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

wonder what kind of WADA-approved medications Beckham is taking tonight for his gimpy ankle....

Posted by: Juan-John

*************************************

Placenta of Sasquatch.

Not easy to find for most folks, but Becks has one of those Cadillac health plans.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 22, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

That's one ad for Jack Links Jerky I hope I never see.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

No Kovalenko or Andy Williams in the starting lineups. Interesting. I look at LA's lineup as more offensively minded. It should be a good one. I'll say 3-1 LA, although I'll probably be pulling for RSL to win.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | November 22, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I totally just got a shiver watching a replay of Nicky's PK save they showed during the ESPN promo...

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

1-0 Galaxy.

Posted by: redskinsux | November 22, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, there's 40k there. I'm officially impressed. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | November 22, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed because I just heard a cogent, clear, concise analysis from Julie Foudy

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Crazy that a team will win the MLS Cup tonight and then submit a list of players tomorrow. Doesn't leave much time for celebrating.

Posted by: DCUMD | November 22, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Salt Lake scoring 3. If they win, it'll be 1-0 or PK's.

I say LA 3 - 1, with Landon leading a break as SLC presses for the equalizer.

Posted by: paj18 | November 22, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Even if the match went to PKs it wouldn't come near midnight.

Posted by: alecw81 | November 22, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

the Galaxy haven't scored on 118 consecutive corner kicks? that does seem amazing. gotta figure you find a head or foot just by pure luck every 75 or so.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Bummer for Morales. Lame way to end the season.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

bad call on the Buddle offside, but LA didn't miss a beat - they went right back at it and scored a beautiful goal. RSL is being outplayed pretty badly now.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Terrific goal! Galaxy are attacking pretty well - good final so far. Beckham and Donovan showing their talents

Posted by: Kev29 | November 22, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Great cross by Donovan, and great play from them as a team on that attack and the minutes before.

Really do feel bad for Morales, you could tell how much that meant to him

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that RSL using two subs already will hurt them later.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

what the hell was Stott looking at?

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

That should be a yellow.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Movsisyan has to take that first-time rather than letting the defender get to him. it's a debatable call for a penalty. RSL looking better this half - an equalizer may be in the cards, which would set up a very exciting finish.

and there it is. wow.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

oh, this last half hour is going to be *good*

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

that's my new favorite player with a goal!

Posted by: birdynumnum | November 22, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

2 RSl players against about 7 LA defenders. Good, important goal from Salt Lake. Ricketts gave up on that play. He coulda saved that.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm really surprised Buddle didn't get a card there.

Great persistance and hustle from the RSL strikers.

I don't think Saunders sucks, so, I'm not calling it now.

High intensity final 30 coming up here.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

a bad break for the Galaxy with the carom to Findley (and now the Ricketts sub), but the defense didn't do themselves any favors. anyone notice that it was Beckham who tracked back to help and was closest to Findley when he scored? he seems especially motivated.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for a whiny comment - but ESPN's coverage has been really poor. Not so much the commentary - but so few replays. Never showed an aerial/back line view of Buttle's offside, etc.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 22, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

oh, Movsisyan...

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@Kev29 - agreed. not their best effort.

Movsisyan with another wasted chance. he could be doing much better with his last MLS game. RSL is being gifted with all sorts of space, but i think Donovan creates a winning goal here.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

ooh, and he just missed making me look psychic.

i will say that Donovan seems to be going down very easily, like he's looking to get foul calls rather than fighting through. it's a little annoying.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

i will say that Donovan seems to be going down very easily, like he's looking to get foul calls rather than fighting through. it's a little annoying.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:30 PM

Why wouldn't you when you have one of the worlds best free kick takers on your team. I don't like it but its part of soccer.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

adding to the whiny ESPN comments, why did JP feel the need to identify Beckham as "number 23 in white" in the 79th minute?

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

as good as this game has been, it would be even better if it weren't for the turf.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

At least there's no football lines.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

findley needs to a) go to europe and b) get some time with the national team.

Posted by: birdynumnum | November 22, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Looked like Gonzalez's foot got stuck in the turf.

Posted by: spikeman | November 22, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

This may actually help LA some. Findley running around those statues they had there was only gonna get worse if this game goes to OT.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Beckham with some bad passes and wasted chances in those last couple minutes. he needed a little more patience. time to buckle up for OT.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

An inhaler? Maybe WADA needed to be paying closer attention

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Is it REAL or ReeAalll? Seriously.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Wait, or is it Ree-Al?

"He pulls it back like an artist"
REAaaally?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

anyone want to guess what sort of bad call/non-call will decide this game? or is that too cynical?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Man, Kirovski really does suck...and it kinda looks like he has man boobs.

Posted by: combedge | November 22, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I have visions of PKs and Beckham stepping up with his gimpy foot, the ball sailing off the spot...and over the bar.

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

You have to favor RSL here, right?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Nicky!

Posted by: combedge | November 22, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Nicky, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind. Hey, Nicky...hey, Nicky...

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

That was terrible

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha...Kirovski.

Posted by: combedge | November 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

oh, beckerman. you trustafarian loser.

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Spoke too soon.

Posted by: combedge | November 22, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I never expected that...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

apparently my vision was a bit ambiguous...

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

oh, Landycakes. so sad.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

MOTM: Andy Wiliams!!! Party time! Had a great season MLS season with so many of you. Thanks for the laughs. If you find yourself taking me too seriously and getting pissed just chill. I come here for kicks, and I don't mean any real disrespect unless I really do. Looking forward to next season, and I hope some of us are able to connect next season.

Wow Donovan.... WTF?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

LANDYCAKES!!

Posted by: combedge | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe LD did that.

Posted by: Reignking | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Saunders should do cartwheels

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

HOly SMokes!!!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

not MOTM after that

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

holy snot! i don't like PKs as a general rule, but this is riveting.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 22, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I kinda wanted Williams to win it.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm still speechless about Landon's half-assed attempt.

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

NICKY!!!!!!!!

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Sweet. Good for RSL.

Posted by: combedge | November 22, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Me too, jacob. I'm not sure how that is going...

Posted by: Reignking | November 22, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Go Garth! (Lagerway)

Posted by: Reignking | November 22, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

That's right, New York, Real Salt Lake.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | November 22, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations RSL. You played an attractive brand of soccer, with quality players. You had your downs, and you had your ups. You played your best at the biggest times, and earned a pretty new trophy, and for me, a star above your crest.


Also, a special Congratulations to Andy Williams. I know this has been a terrible year personally for him, and he's deserved it with the fights he's been going through.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Most valuable player...most terrible kicker.

Posted by: djohnson | November 22, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

okay, so now that they won, maybe I take back the Andy Williams MOTM comment. but I hope it's Findley.

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Ooopsss.Wow. Glad I watched, that was fun. I wanted A. Williams to get the goods too, but after he fell down at the end of extra time I'm not surprised. He's still a big part man. Lots of love there for that guy, and his family.
Good work RSL. Wow.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

obviously, Nicky is at the top of the list for MOTM...hit submit too quick

Posted by: sec133row5 | November 22, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

A team with a losing record in the regular season wins the championship? How does that give MLS any more international legitimacy?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | November 22, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

What a chippy, uninspiring game. No chemistry or drive really. But I did start watching in the 60th minute.

Posted by: redskinsux | November 22, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

(Paging Bruce Arena)

Posted by: redskinsux | November 22, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Who are the arbiters of 'international legitimacy'? You either enjoyed the game or you didn't....

Posted by: JkR- | November 22, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Saw the game, missed opp from both teams but overall RSL dominated and won.
Garber will be rolling in his bed crying cause Becks didnt raise a trophy. Which shows once again that this play-off system doesn't make sense when you have an under .500 team who sneaked into the play-offs and wins the championship.

Best moment of the night: Donovans reaction to missing the PK.

"Dammit!"

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 22, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Nick is clearly regretting leaving DC right now.

No. Wait. Reverse that.


(Nicky, come baaaaaaaaaacccccckkkkk.)

Posted by: ogdennash | November 23, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your after the 60th minute analysis brah.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 23, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Best moment of the night: Donovans reaction to missing the PK.

"Dammit!"

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88

------------------

Oh, no. Ripping off the captain's armband, while he silently thinks to himself "I don't deserve this" was better. At least, that's what I imagined he thought.

Posted by: prokaryote | November 23, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was a well played and well reffed game. Yeah, I guess Nicky has to be MOTM, but Beckerman was everywhere and Mathis was pure class with his probing, #10-like passing. I also thought DeLaGarza looked great during his few minutes. I would love for DCU to be able to pluck several players off those rosters!

Posted by: b18bolo | November 23, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Landycakes PK disaster is what I will remember most about this match, but you have to hand it to RSL, they played with more heart and were the better team over 120 minutes, thus making them worthy champions of MLS despite their regular season record.

Overall a good night for MLS, the PK shootout surley attracted a lot of viewers since the NFL game had ended minutes earlier and many changed to ESPN expecting to see SportsCenter. Dramatic finish, and I think MLS took big step forward this year as a whole. Congrats to RSL on their first championship!

Posted by: rademaar | November 23, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

MOTM: Berhalter.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 23, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Gotta admit, that PK battle was pretty riveting. It flipped the whole underdog idea on it's head, with a replacement GK against Stone Cold Nick Rimando. Columbus are the real league champions. All RSL won was a tournament no different than the US Open Cup or Carling Cup.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 23, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Landon didn't kiss all his fingers.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

My thoughts...

RSL controlled the majority of the game and deserved to win.

The turf was a MAJOR factor.

Awesome crowd. It gave me chillbumps seeing that stadium filled and the passion that was emanating from it.

What the heck am I going to do for the next four months?

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | November 23, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Watch La Liga, EPL...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 23, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

so the season is done! I wonder what next year holds for MLS. Im def going to try to make it out to Philly and NY for DC's away games. New venues!

and guess what!!!

A NEW KIT FOR DC!

lol

This should make this play-off system into a small post-season tourney on its own. Keep a single table, best record is overall champ and have the top 12 teams battle out for spot in the champions league play. The last four teams will not be able to play in the tourney so we would consider them "regulated" meaning who ever is at the bottom gets first choice in the draft.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 23, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Watching Donovan blow a PK in tonight's final was nothing new to me -- I still remember seeing a picture of Pachuca keeper Miguel Calero waving an "oh no you don't" finger at Donovan after he missed a spot kick in the first SuperLiga final in 2007.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | November 23, 2009 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne exploring oversees options is a good sign, and a signal that they are not sold on Richie Williams. I feel the same way. I think Richie Williams would be a disaster at the helm of DC United. I would rather keep Soehn than hire Richie Williams.

Posted by: alan19 | November 23, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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