MLS Cup Champions
Captain Robbie Keane #7 of the Los Angeles Galaxy hoists up the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy on the podium as his Galaxy teammates cheer on after the Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 in the 2014 MLS Cup at StubHub Center on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

CARSON, CA – The final chapter of the MLS Cup trilogy between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New England revolution took center stage on Sunday as both teams fought for the right to hoist the coveted cup.

For the third time in the series, the teams needed extra time to crown a champion. In 2002 and 2005 the Galaxy won the cup after 30 minutes of extra time and on Sunday, history would repeat itself.

The MLS regular season MVP, Robbie Keane, nailed the game winner in the second period of extra time and the Los Angeles Galaxy became the first club in the history of the league to win five MLS Cups as they defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 in thrilling fashion.

“Right before the second period of extra time, Omar [Gonzalez] came up to me and said something about ‘if we don’t score…’ I told him, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll score.’ That wasn’t me being big headed, I knew that if I got a chance I would put it away, and thankfully for me I did and I put it in the back of the net,” said Keane after the game.

Landon Donovan concluded his illustrious career with his record sixth MLS Cup, putting him in elite company with sports stars like Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. Donovan was quiet for most of the match, but at the end of the day he has done something that few athletes ever get the opportunity to do: go out on top.

“Landon has done it all. He’s got very little left to give, I’m so happy he’s made this decision and able to go out a winner,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.

The Revolution will now look forward to next year to overcome the proverbial “hump” and win their first ever MLS Cup. Sunday’s match at StubHub Center was their fifth MLS Cup final, and ironically, all five they lost in overtime.

“I’m going to try and get the guys back here and win it,” said New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps after the game. “This is what it’s all about.”

It was a scintillating final that started with a scoreless first half in which each team adjusted tactically as the game went along. Landon Donovan and Robbie Rogers started off the game with a great give and go in the opening few minutes to give the Galaxy their first opportunity to score. They did not capitalize however, and the Revs controlled the possession for the better part of 50 minutes until unlikely hero, Gyasi Zardes scored the first goal of the game.

Zardes had been struggling coming into the game as he scored zero goals in the final two months of the season. The youngster seemed to be fading away as the MLS Cup playoffs went along but with most of New England’s attention focused on Keane and Donovan, Zardes was able to sneak past the Revolution defense where Marcelo Sarvas found him at the near post. Zardes made a nifty move to shake two defenders and then calmly finished with his left foot.

“It’s an amazing time to do it, but I wasn’t stressing that I haven’t been scoring,” said Zardes about his slump and the timing of his first goal. “It’s a team sport, not my sport. It’s a team effort. If I’m not scoring, but we are still winning, that’s OK with me. It’s just wonderful to get a goal in this game.”

Boston native, Chris Tierney, leveled the score at 1-1 in the 79th minute. Super-sub Patrick Mullins gave a great pass to Tierney who was able to shoot across Penedo’s outstretched body and find the right hand side of the net.

The stars of the day for the Galaxy were easily the defensive tandem of Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza. It was unknown before the match if DeLaGarza would be able to start, but he was in spectacular form with multiple game-saving tackles throughout the match.

“I’ve said it before, this is my best year on the field, and my worst ever off the field personally,” said DeLaGarza about his emotions after the game. “At the end of the game, you guys saw I just kind of laid there and sobbed a little bit. Obviously, I wish my son was here, so that was al I thought about.”

In overtime, the Galaxy came out aggressive putting forth the most chances. Keane proved why he was the regular season MVP when he scored his 23rd goal of the season in the 121st minute. Sarvas again provided the assist as he sent a phenomenal pass to Keane on the left who was able to beat Revolution goalkeeper, Bobby Shuttleworth, one-on-one for the game-winning goal.

“He [Sarvas] is a warrior. He’s our Jermaine Jones. He’s a battler. He plays through good plays and bad plays and the ball to Robbie was a great ball,” added Arena about his midfielder.

Landon Donovan’s swan song proved to be perfect exclamation point on the most decorated career in United States soccer history. Donovan won his sixth MLS Cup and can now ride off into the California sunset as the United States greatest soccer legend.

“He ends his career as arguably the greatest player in the history of US Soccer. In the league the all time leading goal scorer, assists, championships, could you write that any better?” said Arena.

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