The Galaxy's Major League Soccer-record five titles: a recap

Recapping Galaxy's five titles: Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Carlos Ruiz played roles


A look back at the team's league-record five championships:

2002 — Galaxy 1, New England Revolution 0

After losing their three previous appearances in the MLS Cup, the Galaxy reached the final amid a breakout rookie season for forward Carlos Ruiz, who led the league with 24 goals — nine of them game-winners. In front of the largest MLS Cup crowd ever, 61,316, the Galaxy met the Revolution at the newly completed Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Galaxy and New England were scoreless in regulation, with limited scoring opportunities. In a heart-stopping moment in sudden death, New England's Winston Griffiths sent a shot from outside the box just out of the reach of Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman — but it went high, bouncing off the crossbar in the 112th minute. Less than a minute later, Tyrone Marshall took the ball deep into the Revolution's zone before crossing it over the middle to a streaking Ruiz, who put a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net.

2005 — Galaxy 1, New England Revolution 0

Landon Donovan, already a proven champion from his time with the San Jose Earthquakes, joined the Galaxy in 2005. Despite the addition, L.A. struggled to reach the playoffs, earning the fourth seed with a record of 13-13-6. The Galaxy upset San Jose, 4-2, on aggregate goals and defeated the Colorado Rapids, 2-0, in the conference final to reach the championship once again against a familiar opponent, the Revolution. New England, the No. 1 seed out of the East, was heavily favored, but L.A. attacked from the start, though both teams failed to capitalize on scoring chances in regulation. Galaxy forward Guillermo Ramirez, who had been signed to be a star, was benched because of a lack of production. But he came in as a substitute and scored in sudden death from 18 feet out in the 105th minute.

2011 — Galaxy 1, Houston Dynamo 0

The Galaxy went unbeaten at home, with five draws coming at the Home Depot Center, despite a string of injuries to its starters all season long. L.A.'s defense held its opponents scoreless in 17 matches and would do so again in the MLS Cup as the Galaxy claimed its third title on a goal from Major League Soccer's all-time leading playoff goal scorer, Landon Donovan. The Galaxy scored six times in the playoffs leading up to the final, including three by forward Mike Magee, but was held scoreless through the first half of the championship game by the Dynamo. In the 72nd minute David Beckham headed the ball to Robbie Keane, who flipped a pass to Donovan as he cut between two defenders inside the box. The veteran popped a shot just over sliding Houston keeper Tally Hall, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 lead the Dynamo would be unable to match.

2012 — Galaxy 3, Houston Dynamo 1

The reigning champions put themselves in a tough position heading into the postseason; in fact, they were lucky to reach the playoffs after being in last place 13 games into the season. A return to health by defender Omar Gonzalez coincided with a return to dominance and another championship run. Keane, who emerged as the Galaxy's top offensive weapon, scored five playoff goals as L.A. advanced past the Vancouver Whitecaps in the knockout round, San Jose in the semifinals and the Seattle Sounders in the conference championship to book the Galaxy's third MLS Cup appearance in four years, a rematch with Houston. This time, it wasn't even close. Gonzalez kicked off the Galaxy's scoring in the second half with a header on a Juninho cross. Donovan, good as always in the playoffs, scored on a penalty kick shortly afterward and Keane added another goal in stoppage time.

2014 — Galaxy 2, New England Revolution 1

Donovan, the Galaxy captain, announced in August that this would be his final season, and it would end with his record-setting sixth MLS Cup victory. The Galaxy secured the No. 2 seed after outscoring its opponents more than 2-to-1 en route to a 17-7-10 regular-season record and its 16th postseason appearance in 19 seasons. Keane, the regular season and MLS Cup most valuable player, led L.A. in goals (19) as Donovan finished the season as the all-time leading scorer in MLS history with 144. The Galaxy rolled past Real Salt Lake before jumping the top-seeded Sounders in the conference finals. In the 111th minute of the title game, Keane put the ball in the net, breaking a 1-1 tie and eventually giving the Galaxy its fifth title and sending out Donovan as a champion once more.

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