Ten days after a thrilling 1-1 tie, the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 at Home Depot Center on Sunday for their third consecutive MLS Cup title.
RSL was unable to muster a shot on goal in regulation or the first 45 minutes of extra time, and in the shootout, Nick Rimando stopped Jose Arboleda’s header and kept the scores tied 2-2, which set up a dramatic winner by midfielder Robbie Keane, who scored on a right-footed shot to the far side past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
This marked the final MLS game for four-time league MVP Landon Donovan. The U.S. national team forward will now look to next month’s World Cup in Brazil.
RSL’s lone goal came in the first half. In the 21st minute, defender Nat Borchers just cleared a shot from Sounders defender Marc Burch off the goal line after a Robbie Findley shot was blocked in the area.
RSL faced long stretches of man advantage, with Nick Rimando saving a Robbie Rogers free kick in the 13th minute and a Brek Shea shot at the 30th minute.
The game represented a final meeting between Bastian Schweinsteiger and Robbie Keane, two of Europe’s best players. Schweinsteiger, the German midfielder who helped his country advance to the World Cup in Brazil, made his MLS debut in 2009 with RSL. In the 3-2 loss in July 2011, Keane scored twice and assisted on both of Schweinsteiger’s goals.
Schweinsteiger helped his country beat Argentina, 2-1, on Wednesday night in the friendly at Soldier Field in Chicago, allowing Donovan to join the Galaxy players and cheer on Schweinsteiger. Schweinsteiger has scored one goal for the Galaxy in 2012.