The MLS Cup 2011 title match will kick off at 8 PM CST and pits my MLS Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo against the star studded Western Conference champion LA Galaxy.
No one in the international soccer media and MLS watchers are giving my local football franchise a chance against the Galaxy. They won the Supporter’s Shield for having the best regular season record in MLS, are playing in their home stadium, are appearing in their MLS record seventh final and despite both squads ironically being owned by the same company in Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Galaxy have a combined payroll that dwarfs the Dynamo’s $2.91 million one.
They have David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane and are the glam team in Major League Soccer. But what people forget is that championships aren’t won on paper, or because you spent the most money or have the most superstars in your lineup. You have to play the games.
The Dominic Kinnear coached Houston Dynamo won back to back MLS titles themselves in 2006 and 2007 and are on a two month nine game unbeaten streak that has powered them through the playoffs and goalkeeper Tally Hall has only given up one goal since the playoffs started.
They are 90 minutes away from bringing a third MLS championship trophy back to Houston but will have to do it without MLS MVP candidate Brad Davis.
The Dynamo lost him in the Eastern Conference finals to a severe quad injury early in the first half of their 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.
It will be interesting to see how this MLS Cup 2011 plays out and I would love to be attending another championship rally on the steps of City Hall.
Let’s go Dynamo!