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Los Angeles Galaxy: 2011 Major League Soccer Champions. Need we say more?
The Galaxy accomplished much this season: a successful Supporters' Shield defense, more CONCACAF Champions League football starting next March, and a Philip F. Anschutz Trophy to boot.
Yes indeed, it has been a banner year for Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy and for David Beckham, who can finally add another domestic league title to his collection of silverware he has won over the years.
Los Angeles finished the regular season with a record of 19-5-10 (67 points), good enough for first place in the league and the MLS Western Conference.
The Galaxy opened their 2011 MLS season with a victory on the road against Seattle (1-0, Mar. 15) and a draw to the New England Revolution (1-1, Mar. 20) before suffering their worst loss of the season, a 4-1 blowout defeat away to Real Salt Lake on Mar. 26.
Afterwards, the Galaxy went on a five-game unbeaten run including three victories, the most notable being a 3-0 shutout over the Portland Timbers at the Home Depot Center on Apr. 23.
After the unbeaten streak ended with a 2-1 defeat away to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Par on May 1, Los Angeles went on their longest unbeaten streak of the season: 14 matches without a loss.
The streak began with a couple of 1-1 draws against the New York Red Bulls (May 7) and Philadelphia Union (May 11), followed by a four-match win streak which included a 4-1 demolition of Sporting Kansas City on May 14. The Galaxy drew four of the next five games before wrapping up the unbeaten run with a three-game win streak.
The Galaxy shook off a 3-0 away defeat to Portland on Aug. 3, winning six out of their next seven matches, which included victories over FC Dallas (3-1, Aug. 6), the San Jose Earthquakes (2-0, Aug. 20), the Vancouver Whitecaps (3-0, Sept. 17) and Real Salt Lake (2-1, Oct. 1). Afterwards, the Galaxy eased up on the gas pedal, dropping two of their final three games of the season with the MLS Supporters' Shield already in hand.
In the Western Conference Semifinals, Los Angeles earned revenge for a 2-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 4 by burying Hans Backe's side 3-1 on aggregate. In the first leg, a Mike Magee goal in the 15th minute was all she wrote in a 1-0 victory at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 30.
In the second leg at Victoria Street, Magee was at in again in the 42nd minute, but it was Landon Donovan who slammed the door shut in the 75th minute of play with a penalty that gave the Galaxy a 2-0 victory over the Red Bulls.
In MLS Cup 2011, Landon Donovan's 72nd minute goal off assists from David Beckham and Robbie Keane was enough to give Los Angeles the title.
The Galaxy will conclude their year with a trio of friendlies against an Indonesian Premier League XI, the Philippines National Team and Melbourne Victory FC.