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FC Dallas clinches spot in MLS Cup Final with a convincing 3-0 victory over Galaxy

                                                Photo by David Bernal/


In the end, it wasn't that close at all.

A match that was billed as the true final by many, ended with more of a whimper than a bang.

FC Dallas earned its first trip to MLS Cup with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. The victory clinched the first MLS Cup Final appearance for the FC Dallas franchise and gave MLS its second straight final without the Supporters Shield winner.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman stole the show against his old club with six saves on the night to propel Dallas into the Final. After contemplating retirement when he was cut by the Kansas City Wizards before the start of the season, to sit one win away from MLS Cup means the world to Hartman. 

"We showed a great amount of fortitude against a pretty good team to get a pretty convincing win," said Hartman. "When you're contemplating retirement and then you're able to get into the MLS Cup Final, it's pretty rewarding."

It was a physical game throughout the first half with referee Jair Marrufo allowing much of the contact between the two teams to slide. In the early part of the match, the Galaxy dominated possession and began to pressure Hartman, who routinely preserved the stalemate. FCD used their explosive counter attack to take the lead in the 26th minute when Marvin Chavez found David Ferriera, who froze the Galaxy defense and beat Donovan Ricketts with a right-footed strike. 

Dallas doubled their lead in the 54th minute of play. Brek Shea streaked down the left side and played in a ball that trickled past the Galaxy defense to George John, who slammed it in for a 2-0 lead. FC Dallas would add a third in the 73rd minute when a Marvin Chavez goal firmly placed FCD into the MLS Cup Final. 

"We controlled the game a bit more after that first goal and became more confident," said FC Dallas Captain Daniel Hernandez. "When that second goal fell for us, I felt that we dominated the whole second half. I have a great deal of respect for LA because they had a great year, but after that first goal, we were able to dominate them."

The Galaxy dominated the chances early as they sought to put FC Dallas on their heels early. Time and time again however, former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman proved too difficult to beat. His best save came in the 21st minute off a save from Galaxy midfielder Juninho, who broke free of the defense and fired a rocket that Hartman stopped.Throughout the match, Los Angeles struggled time and time again to find it's greatest weapon, MLS MVP candidate Edson Buddle. Buddle found contact with every touch of the ball as the FCD defense closed in on Buddle with every opportunity.

In addition to Buddle's inability to perform, David Beckham, who was so influential against the Sounders struggled to make an impact on the night. Beckham's struggled to connect as FC Dallas' defense was able to outwork the Galaxy to each opportunity and clear any chances. Following the match, the Galaxy announced that Beckham was nearly pulled from the match at the half with an abductor strain. With screams of joy easily heard from FC Dallas celebrating next door, Bruce Arena spoke of a season that ended due to missed opportunities.

"We have no excuses," Arena said. "We were outplayed. but maybe a couple of calls didn't go our way, but that's part of it. We were beaten on most matchups on the field, and we were out-coached. Dallas deserved the victory."

FC Dallas now sets their sights on MLS Cup Final against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday November 21st at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada. Dallas enters the final having knocked off the defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake in the first round and then the 2010 Supporter's Shield winners in the Conference Final. 

For a club that was not tabbed by many to be a legitimate threat for MLS Cup, confidence is brimming. 

"We're a bunch of hardworking guys, Schellas brought in the right guys and we play to our system. I don't think we're under dogs and we showed that tonight," said McCarthy. "We are going to be ready because we know that it's going to be a dogfight up in Toronto."


  1. Two things:

    (1) Omar Gonzalez: please get up from the Future Nat dinner table…and excuse yourself back to the Kiddie Table. Seriously disappointing performance. He was responsible for the first two goals (not marking the possible MVP of the league on the first one? letting the cross on the second one go through your legs??). Granted, he’s built like a truck and I loved seeing him lay cats out, but man…you gotta do better than that.

    (2) MLS as a league? What a disasterous final lineup for them. The two teams with the worst fan base? But i’ll say this…maybe we need to stop looking at the MLS as a “will they make it” league. If this was any other country’s league, sports writers and fans would be loving two underdog teams making it, what a story! But because we’re still so obsessed with the MLS “making it”, we act like Chicken Littles when the two major market teams with the biggest stars don’t make the finals. Still…LA vs NY would’ve be DOPE.

  2. Referees are now tasked with settling scores (from a prior game no less)? Two wrongs (I didn’t see the prior incident) make right? Clean hard challenges/tackles, fine. I tuned in to watch soccer at it’s highest level in the US and unfortunately saw challenges that would be carded in a pub league going uncalled.

  3. Well, some might say this is turnabout being fair play for the push that Donovan gave to Jackson in the last FCD-Galaxy match — the LD assist that gave Beckham a goal.

    I think someone already mentioned this in the above comments, actually.

  4. LOL. Fair enough. 🙂

    I do wonder what’s up with the Dallas attendance, but I imagine they face the same competition in their market as the Rapids, only worse.

    Still, it could be worse: SJ was dead last in attendance, the only team not to break into 5 digits, and off a whopping 32% as compared to 2009. By comparison, Dallas was off by 13% (tied with DC United for 2nd biggest drop from last year), while the Rapids were up 8% or virtually 1,000 a game. I would have expected it to be worse, given the failure to make the playoffs 3 years running…

  5. Donovan said he will be back in LA next year.

    So we can quit worrying that MLS will be LD-less.

    I personally hate the Supporters Sheild. Just do away with it now, like eventually they will have to.

    You have your opinion, just realize there are others that have opposite.

  6. Not going to speak for the celebrations……

    (SLC was very happy to win it all last year. I was there and they celebrated hard.

    I don’t really care how they celebrate the semi finals, they still have one more game before they win it all, they can do as the please)…ok maybe I did.

    ……..but the play was VERY intense.

    And MLS is not a joke, it is awesome.

  7. The post was about karma not his career. Yes, I reread his post, and bk says nothing about his career.

    There needs to be some sort of test for people before they are allowed to post on the internet.

  8. guess i haven’t seen rapids all year basically. but every time Dallas is on tv there’s like 6 people in the seats that aren’t on the end line.

    i did see a lot of support for colorado in their match over the weekend. i was surprised. i guess i have to root for them since Dallas fans are terrible fans.


  9. I brought my girlfriend to the game to try to further her burgeoning interest in the sport; not exactly what I hoped for as a Gals fan.

    The officiating was shocking (on both sides) but Dallas played a significantly better game and would have won even with a real referee. Red shirts seemed to outnumber whites in front of both goals; they always appeared to have a man advantage on the offensive end which allowed for easy passes in the box, and Buddle was surrounded by 3 players every time he made an attacking move. Franklin and Eddie Lewis cheated up way too much without being dangerous offensively, leaving the center backs alone, and AJ in particular got abused.

    Anyway, the upside is that the Supporters Shield gets us into the CCL without the play-in game, and Landy in particular gets to benefit from an extra week of rest and not having to fly to Toronto.

    I’m not crazy about this Australia trip the Gals are taking, and I’d love Landon to stay home and sleep, but as much as he needs to rest, I think he misses the competition in the EPL and I’d expect to see him back on loan to Everton. Selfishly, I love seeing him play with the big boys and I hope to see him playing 10 hours earlier every weekend come January.

  10. *sigh*

    A disappointment for my home team, but sign me up as one of the “casual” fans who will def be watching the final despite the loss of the Cali clubs.

    Here’s to a good Cup final …

  11. George John is better than (insert any MLS CB here)


    Hartman is a magician.

    next week FCD will be holding the cup like players in the wall!

  12. Dallas clearly deserved to win and I commend their achievement BUT, as a soccer fan, I thought the officiating (both ways) was ATROCIOUS. Hard, physical play is a hallmark of playoff soccer but a foul is a foul. Jackson blowing up Donovan from behind at the top of the box in the first half was as flagrant a foul as could be imagined and didn’t warrant even a whistle? (there are plenty of examples Dallas fans can/should cite as well) What kind of league do we want?


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