2009 Nov 22

Real Salt Lake win MLS Cup in kicks from the mark in Seattle

MLS Cup Final:
Los Angeles Galaxy  1 - 1  Real Salt Lake (after extra time, Salt Lake win kicks from the mark 5-4)

Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

41' LA: Mike Magee (Landon Donovan, David Beckham)
64' SL: Robbie Findley

Los Angeles: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 66'); Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez (A.J. DeLaGarza 89'), Sean Franklin; Landon Donovan, Jovan Kirovski, Chris Birchall (Chris Klein 79'), David Beckham; Mike Magee, Edson Buddle. Substitutes not used: Yohance Marshall, Dema Kovalenko, Eddie Lewis, Alan Gordon.

Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Robbie Russell; Will Johnson (Ned Grabavoy 46'), Javier Morales (Clint Mathis 22'), Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams; Robbie Findley, Yura Movsisyan (Fabian Espindola 75'). Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Tony Beltran, Jean Alexandre, Pablo Campos.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle played host to the 2009 MLS Cup Final and saw Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake draw 1-1 in regulation time with goals from the Galaxy's Mike Magee and Salt Lake's Robbie Findley. Thirty minutes of extra time were scoreless. It came down to kicks from the penalty mark, and Salt Lake won 5-4 in the seventh round.

A surprisingly large crowd of 46,011 attended the match under dry skies with a cold breeze. It was a match where the traditional scarf was put to good use.

First Half

The opening stanza saw just a few half chances, first for Salt Lake when Chris Birchall missed the ball and let Findley in for a dangerous cross, but LA's defense had the target man Yura Movsisyan well covered. LA's Edson Buddle took the first shot of the match at 9', heading a cross well wide. Then it was Salt Lake's turn when Chris Wingert sent a long free kick well wide of goal.

The first of only two cards came out at 14' when Salt Lake's Will Johnson used a tactical foul to prevent Landon Donovan from getting by up the touch line.

The first casualty of the match was Salt Lake's Javier Morales, who got whacked on the ankle, advantage given at the time. Morales left, re-entered, then left for good, replaced by Clint Mathis at 22'.

LA's Jovan Kirovski forced the first save of the match with a shot up the middle from 20 yards, a hard shot, but covered by Nick Rimando.

LA had a good chance at 28' when David Beckham's corner kick found Donovan 4 yards from the far post, but he popped the shot well over the bar. Donovan soon got another try from a cleared free kick, but skied that shot as well.

At 36' Magee got his first perfect cross from Donovan, but just missed the far post with the shot.

41' LA: Magee (Donovan, Beckham). LA's goal came from a well-executed counter attack. Beckham had the ball in the middle and found Donovan open on the right. Donovan curled in a perfect cross in front of Magee on a far-post run, and he finished nicely from close to goal. 1-0 LA.

The end of the half saw two good chances from Salt Lake. Mathis headed a free kick on goal, but it was an easy save for Donovan Ricketts. Movsisyan received a cross but volleyed it too high.

Second Half

Jason Kreis must have had the best halftime speech, because for the first 25 minutes of the second half the only shots were taken by Salt Lake.

Just two minutes in a nasty collision occurred as Salt Lake's Findley was sent in suddenly from the right side and just after he shot into charging goalkeeper Ricketts, the two collided and stayed down for awhile. Ricketts was slowest to get up, but stayed in the match.

On the hour chime it was deja vu when Robbie Russell shot and then collided with the charging Ricketts, who came up hurting again.

64' SL: Findley. A good attack led to a shot by Movsisyan that was blocked, but Findley was there to fire in the rebound past Beckham and to the near side of Ricketts. 1-1. After the goal Ricketts left, apparently too banged up to play up to the match. He was replaced by Josh Saunders.

At 70' Kyle Beckerman did well to win the ball in the midfield and give Movsisyan a great chance from the right with only Saunders to beat, but Movsisyan bent the shot away from the top near corner.

At 73' Donovan took LA's first shot of the half, missing by two yards from 20. Good chances were infrequent, and the next one was for Buddle, whose shot from close on the left was saved and spilled by Rimando, who was lucky to see one of his defenders step up to clear the sitter in front of goal.

Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez was the next casualty, limping off at 88' to be replaced by fellow rookie AJ DeLaGarza.

As in the first half, the last chances were for Salt Lake. Substitute Fabian Espindola tried from a steep angle on the left and hit the side netting wide of the near post. A long Mathis free kick was caught by Saunders at the top far corner. From a corner kick, a soft Mathis header was caught at the bar by Saunders.

Extra Time

After Buddle missed his chance from 15 yards, the rest of the chances in the first 15 minutes of extra time were for Salt Lake. Findley had two excellent chances for a goal, but the defense blocked the first shot and the next one missed a yard wide of the near post. A 25-yard free kick by Mathis came close to the top near corner.

For the second 15 minutes of extra time both sides seemed exhausted. The only chance came when Beckham served Donovan for a 15-yard shot from the left, but Rimando had it covered. In the final seconds a cheeky nutmeg pass by Mathis seemed to find Andy Williams wide open mere yards from the near post, but his legs seemed to seize up as he tried to turn on the ball, letting a golden opportunity roll past. Williams needed some medical attention before he got back on his feet.

Kicks from the Penalty Mark

Salt Lake won the MLS Cup in kicks from the penalty mark, 5-4 after seven rounds.

Los Angeles             Salt Lake
Beckham - 1             Mathis - 1
Berhalter - 1           Findley - 1
Kirovski - 0 (saved)    Beckerman - 0 (saved)
Donovan - 0 (high)      Grabavoy - 1
Magee - 1               Williams - 0 (saved)
Klein - 1               Wingert - 1
Buddle - 0 (saved)      Russell - 1

           LA   SL
Shots:     13   17
Saves:      5    3
Corners:    7    4
Fouls:     21   17
Offsides:   4    9

14' SL: Johnson cautioned for a tactical foul on Donovan at the touch line
39' LA: Birchall cautioned for chopping down Mathis

Referees: Kevin Stott; C.J. Morgante, Rob Fereday; Baldomero Toledo

Attendance: 46,011

Other match reports: