Guest Author - Alice Jones
Major League Soccer Conference Finals
LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake progress to Final.
In a highly entertaining weekend of Major League Soccer, the finalists of this season's MLS Cup were decided as the Conference Finals were played out with maximum drama. These two games had it all, near misses, disallowed goals, disputed decisions, penalties, and at LA’s Home Depot Center, even a power outage!
Both matches went to extra time, as 90 minutes of attacking and counter-attacking play was not enough to break the deadlock in either game. In Saturday’s Eastern Conference, even extra time was not enough, and penalty kicks was all that could separate the two teams.
Friday November 13 2009
Western Conference Championship
(Home Depot Center – LA)
LA Galaxy 2 – Houston Dynamo 0 (After extra-time) FT 0-0
Scorers: Gregg Berhalter 103; Landon Donovan (pen) 109
After a non-scoring 90 minutes, Greg Berhalter put the home side ahead in the 19th minute of extra time. David Beckham’s free kick causing problems for the visitor’s defense, they failed to clear their lines and Berhalter pounced to put the Galaxy ahead.
Then a record breaking 17th MLS goal for Landon Donovan from the penalty spot 2 minutes from the final whistle, put the match beyond Dynamo and saw the Galaxy through to the MLS Cup final.
Saturday November 14 2009
Eastern Conference Championship
(Toyota Field – Chicago)
Real Salt Lake 0 - Chicago Fire 0 (after extra time) FT 0-0
(5-4 on penalties)
Real Salt Lake beat Chicago Fire 5-4 on penalties after the teams could not be separated in a goalless regular and extra time. Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando was the hero of the day, making three saves while substitute Ned Grabavoy put Real through and sealed the disappointment for Chicago fans watched their team fail in the conference final for the 3rd successive season.
Real Salt Lake will meet LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final on November 22 in Seattle at the Qwest Field, stadium.