2011 MLS Power Rankings: Final Edition
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The 2011 Major League Soccer season has finally drawn to a close and the Los Angeles Galaxy have been anointed champions for a third time in the league's 16-year history.
As a result, they are at the top of this year's final MLS Power Rankings here on Bleacher Report, which sees the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps finish dead last and three of the five top spots occupied by the stronger MLS Western Conference.
Let us take one more look at what has been a solid year in MLS.
18. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
This was not an inaugural season to remember for Davide Chiumiento and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images
Martin Rennie's Vancouver Whitecaps had a very tough year, finishing with a record of 6-18-10 (28 points), good enough for last place in the MLS Western Conference.
After a 4-2 victory over Toronto FC on Mar. 19 to start the season, Vancouver under Teitur Thordarsson proceeded to go winless in the next 14 matches, including a 3-3 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Apr. 2, a 3-1 defeat away to the Houston Dynamo on Apr. 10 and a 2-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Jun. 4.
The slump cost Thordarsson his job and he was replaced by interim manager Tom Soehn.
Vancouver got back on the winning track with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union at Empire Field on Jun. 18, but lost five out of their next six games—the most glaring being a 4-0 demolition by the LA Galaxy on Jul. 30 (equaled by D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Aug. 13), before rebounding with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Fire on Aug. 7.
Another two-game losing streak would pass before a 1-0 victory over the Dynamo at Empire Field on Aug. 17. That was followed up by a four-game winless streak which included glaring defeats against Los Angeles (3-0 on Sept. 17) and the Seattle Sounders (3-1 on Sept. 24).
The Whitecaps followed the results up with their most defining win of the season, a 3-0 shutout over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 6 and recorded their final victory of the year over D.C. United (2-1 on Oct. 12) before ending the year on a two-game losing streak.
Camilo led all goalscorers with 12 on the season, while Eric Hassli recorded 10. Davide Chiumiento led the team in assists with nine.
17. New England Revolution
Shalrie Joseph led the New England Revolution in goals scored in 2011 with eight.
Steve Nicol's final season as manager of the New England Revolution was one to forget, as they finished with a 5-16-13 record and 28 points, good for dead last in the MLS Eastern Conference. Nicol would be replaced by Jay Heaps.
The Revs began their season winning just once in their first four games—a 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Mar. 16—before going on a two-game losing streak. A 3-0 loss to Chivas USA on Apr. 30 and a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids on May 7 was sandwiched between victories over Sporting Kansas City on Apr. 23 and the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 14.
New England proceeded to go on a nine-game winless streak, losing six contests along the way including a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Jul. 17. The slump was halted by a 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Jul. 20, but another slump took place in the form of a seven-game dry spell which featured a 3-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew on Aug. 13.
A 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on Sept. 10 was followed up by a five-game losing streak which included losses to the Portland Timbers (3-0 on Sept. 16) and Columbus (3-0 on Oct. 15), snapped by a season-ending 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Oct. 22.
Shalrie Joseph led all goalscorers with eight goals, while Benny Feilhaber finished 2011 as the Revs' assist leader with seven.
16. Toronto FC
Not the best of seasons for Toronto FC...
Aron Winter's Toronto FC have the CONCACAF Champions League to look forward to, but in the meantime, they will look back and realize how bad it as for them in MLS this season.
TFC finished with a record of 6-13-15 (33 points), good for eighth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
After dropping a 4-2 defeat to the Whitecaps on Mar. 19, Toronto followed that up with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers before going on a six-game winless streak which included a 3-0 loss to D.C. on Apr. 16 and a 3-0 defeat to Seattle on Apr. 30.
Toronto snapped the slump with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on May 7 before going on a nine-game dry spell which included an embarrassing 6-2 annihilation at the hands of the Philadelphia Union on May 28. After a 1-0 victory over Vancouver on Jun. 29, TFC went on another six-game winless streak, highlighted by their worst defeat of the season, a 5-0 trampling by the New York Red Bulls on July 6.
TFC then won three out of the next five matches before wrapping up the season on a four-match winless streak, highlighted by a 3-0 defeat to Chivas USA on Sept. 24.
Danny Koevermans finished 2011 as Toronto's top goal scorer with eight goals, while Joao Plata and Nick Soolsma recorded a team-high five assists.
15. Chivas USA
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and Chivas USA were forced to play second-fiddle to a more prominent team in Los Angeles...again.
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Not even the late acquisition of Juan Pablo Angel could save Robin Fraser's Chivas USA from another season in ignominy. The Goats finished 2011 with a record of 8-14-12 (36 points), good for eighth place in the MLS Western Conference.
Chivas opened the season on a five-match winless streak before scoring a couple of victories over San Jose on Apr. 23 and New England on April 30. A 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on May 15 was sandwiched by tough losses to Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy.
The Goats won only one match in June, a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Jun. 4. The month of July was a little bit more productive, with Chivas securing a 2-1-3 record which included a July 23 victory over Houston (3-0).
Chivas USA proceeded to go on a seven-game winless streak, which included four straight losses including a 3-0 defeat to D.C. United on Sept. 10. Chivas recorded their final victory of the season—a 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Sept. 24—before ending the year on a two-game losing streak.
Nick LaBrocca and Justin Braun led Chivas USA in goalscoring with eight goals, while Ante Jazic finished with a team-high seven assists.
14. D.C. United
Dwayne De Rosario could only do so much to help D.C. United. In the end, it wasn't enough.
Larry French/Getty Images
Sure, Dwayne De Rosario won the league MVP award for Ben Olsen's D.C. United, but that was essentially the only bright spot in what was a miserable year for a club that could be eyeing a move to Baltimore.
D.C. finished 2011 with a record of 9-13-12 (39 points), good enough for seventh place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
After opening the season with a 3-1 victory over Columbus on Mar. 19, United went on a three-game losing streak, which included a 4-1 defeat away to the Colorado Rapids on Apr. 3. That defeat was replicated on Apr. 29 by Houston following a 4-0 shutout loss to the New York Red Bulls.
In a 10-game stretch from May to early July, D.C. compiled a paltry 3-1-6 record. Another seven-game stretch from July to August saw D.C. compile a 3-1-3 record, highlighted by a 4-0 shutout win over Vancouver.
Despite recording a 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Sept. 10 and a 4-1 result over Real Salt Lake on Sept. 24, D.C. United's playoff hopes died with a 2-6-2 record for the months of September through October. D.C. dropped full points on five of their last six matches to close out the year.
In spite of the club's shortcomings, De Rosario was the bright spot, recording 13 goals and seven assists to lead his club.
13. San Jose Earthquakes
It was one of those seasons for Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes.
Tony Medina/Getty Images
Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes will have to wait another year to add to their heist of hardware. San Jose finished 2011 with a record of 8-12-14 (38 points), good enough for seventh place in the MLS Western Conference.
The Quakes opened 2011 with a 1-4-2 record for the first two months. They followed that up with a 4-0-2 record over a six-game stretch from May through mid-June which included wins over the Columbus Crew on May 14 and D.C. United on Jun. 11.
After the D.C. victory, the wheels fell off in a hurry. San Jose went on a 13-match winless streak, highlighted by a 2-2 draw with Vancouver on Jul. 20, a 4-0 crushing by Real Salt Lake on Jul. 23 and 2-0 shutout defeats to D.C. United (Jul. 30) and archrivals Los Angeles Galaxy (Aug. 20).
A 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Sept. 10 was followed by another four-game winless streak. The Earthquakes did close out the year winning two out of their last three games, including a 4-2 season-ending win over FC Dallas on Oct. 22.
Chris Wondolowski scored a league-high 16 goals on the season for San Jose, while Steven Beitashour led the team in assists with seven.
12. Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers fell just short of making the MLS Cup Playoffs in their first year.
George Frey/Getty Images
John Spencer's Portland Timbers are blessed with one of the strongest supporter groups in the league, the Timbers Army. However, Timber Joey and company could have hoped for just a little more production from Portland, who missed out on the playoffs by a hair.
Portland finished the season with a record of 11-14-9 (42 points), good for sixth place in the MLS Western Conference.
March was not friendly to Portland, as they only won once, and that was a U.S. Open Cup qualifying match against Chivas USA. April was a different story, as the Timbers compiled a 3-1-1 record, highlighted by their first-ever win in their first-ever game at Jeld-Wen Field: a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Fire on Apr. 14.
A stretch of nine matches from late May to mid-July saw Portland go 1-7-1, with losses to FC Dallas (4-0 on Jun. 25) and the Seattle Sounders (3-2 on Jul. 10).
August saw the Timbers get back in the playoff race, earning a 3-2-1 record which included a breakthrough 3-0 victory over MLS Champions Los Angeles Galaxy on Aug. 3. The last two months would tell the story for Portland's season as they only managed a 2-2-4 record which included a 3-0 win over New England on Sept. 16.
Kenny Cooper recorded a team-high eight goals, while team captain Jack Jewsbury scored seven goals and eight assists.
11. Chicago Fire
Dominic Oduro and the Chicago Fire fell short of making the postseason.
David Banks/Getty Images
Frank Klopas took over as manager of the Chicago Fire for Carlos De Los Cobos and was nearly able to seal a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Chicago finished 2011 with a record of 9-9-16 (43 points), good enough for sixth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Chicago opened up the season with a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas on Mar. 19 and a 3-2 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Mar. 26. Afterwards, the Fire went on an 11-match winless streak which began with a three-game losing streak.
The streak was snapped on Jun. 12 with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew. Chicago then went on another 10-game winless streak highlighted by a 4-2 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
It was in mid-August that the wins began to come for the Fire, as they ended the year with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten matches, with the most notable victory in that stretch being a 3-0 shutout of Real Salt Lake on Sept. 28.
Dominic Oduro led the Fire in scoring with 12 goals this season, while Patrick Nyarko was the club's top provider with nine assists.
10. FC Dallas
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas will rue the fact that George John's failed decision to try his luck in Europe disrupted the team's chemistry irreparably en route to an early playoff exit.
The Hoops finished the regular season with a record of 15-12-7, good enough for fourth place in the MLS Western Conference.
After dropping two out of their first three, Dallas went on a tear, compiling a 7-1-3 record over an 11-game stretch from April to early June which began with a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
The streak was broken on June 12 with a 4-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City, but Dallas responded by going 5-1-2 in another eight-game stretch from June through July. During this stretch, the Hoops scored an impressive 4-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Jun. 25.
However, the wheels fell off for Dallas, as they finished the last three months with a record of 3-7-1, which began and ended with blowout defeats: 3-1 on Aug. 6 to the LA Galaxy and 4-2 on Oct. 22 to the San Jose Earthquakes.
Ending the regular season on a losing note was the last thing FC Dallas needed, who proceeded to lose to the New York Red Bulls in the wild-card round, 2-0.
Brek Shea led FC Dallas in goals with 11, while Andrew Jacobson led the team in assists with five.
9. Columbus Crew
The Columbus Crew made the MLS postseason, but not much beyond that.
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Robert Warzycha's Columbus Crew had a mediocre year, which did see them make the postseason, but not much more than that. In the regular season, the Crew finished with a record of 13-13-8 (47 points), good enough for fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Columbus dropped their season opener, 3-1, to D.C. United on Mar. 19. In the seven games that followed, Columbus went 3-0-4 before suffering a two-game losing streak which included a 3-0 defeat to San Jose on May 14. Two draw later, the results began to come for the Massive as they compiled a 4-2-o record over a six-game stretch from mid-June to mid-July.
In another stretch from Jul. 23 through Aug. 20, the Crew went 4-1-0, but soon after, their worst slump of the season came calling. From Aug. 27 through Sept. 28, Columbus went 0-5-1, which included a humiliating 6-2 defeat to the Seattle Sounders on the road.
The Crew snapped the winless streak with victories over D.C. United (2-1 on Oct. 2) and New England (3-0 on Oct. 15) before ending the season with a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire on Oct. 22.
In the wild-card round, Colorado eliminated Columbus from the playoffs with a 1-0 defeat.
Andres Mendoza finished 2011 as the Crew's leading goalscorer with 13 on the year. Robbie Rogers was the Crew's top provider with seven assists.
8. Colorado Rapids
2010 felt like a lifetime way for the Colorado Rapids, who relinquished the cup...and sacked their manager in the process.
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images
After Gary Smith's Colorado Rapids were unable to defend their trophy, Smith was sacked as manager.
Despite the sacking, the Rapids ended the regular season with a record of 12-9-13 (49 points), good for fifth place in the MLS Western Conference.
Colorado opened the season with a three-game win streak, which included a 3-1 victory over Portland on Mar. 19 and a 4-1 whipping of D.C. United on Apr. 3. However, the Rapids followed that up with a three game losing streak that was snapped by a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Apr. 30.
During the entire month of May, Colorado went 1-0-5, their only victory coming against Houston (2-1 on May 4). In the six matches that followed, the Rapids went 1-2-3, the stretch highlighted by a 4-1 defeat away to Columbus. From July 9 through Aug. 13, Colorado enjoyed a resurgence, powering their way to a 5-1-1 record, which included a close 4-3 defeat to Seattle and a 4-1 drilling of the New York Red Bulls.
The Rapids went through one more dry spell, a five-match winless streak from Aug. 20 through Sept. 24, before closing out the regular season with two wins in their final three matches.
After defeating the Crew 1-0 in the wild-card round, Colorado faced Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Rapids were unable to produce and fell 4-0 on aggregate on the heels of consecutive 2-0 defeats.
Jeff Larentowicz recorded a team-high seven goals this season, while Omar Cummings led Colorado in assists with six.
7. Philadelphia Union
Sebastien Le Toux and the Philadelphia Union had a much-improved season but were eliminated to eventual MLS Eastern Conference Champions Houston Dynamo.
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
Peter Nowak's Philadelphia Union had a much improved season from their inaugural year, finishing third in the MLS Eastern Conference with a record of 11-8-15 (48 points).
The Union began the first two months with a 4-1-1 record. In May, the Union went 2-2-1, recording their biggest result of the season: a 6-2 drilling of Toronto FC on the road on May 28. During the months of June and July, the Union were only able to manage a 2-2-5 record, highlighted by a 3-2 victory over Chivas USA on Jun. 25 and a 3-2 shutout of the New England Revolution on Jul. 16.
Philadelphia went on another dry spell from Jul. 29 through Sept. 10, going 0-2-5. With the acquisition of Freddy Adu, Philadelphia ended their season with a record of 3-1-3 in their last seven regular season contests.
The Union ended their season in the conference semifinals against the Houston Dynamo. The Union were eliminated on aggregate, 3-1, on the heels of 2-1 and 1-0 defeats.
Sebastien Le Toux was the Union's workhorse, recording 11 goals and nine assists in 2011.
6. Red Bull New York
Thierry Henry, Mehdi Ballouchy and the New York Red Bulls did enough to make it to the postseason but were stopped by the eventual MLS Champions, the LA Galaxy.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
It was a schizoid season for Hans Backe's New York Red Bulls. Once upon a time, this was a side on the cusp of playoff elimination. But they scratched and clawed, disconnected as they were as a club, and were able to make it to the Conference Semifinals.
New York finished the regular season with a record of 10-8-16 (46 points), good enough for fifth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Things started off nicely for the Red Bulls, who recorded a 4-1-2 record in the first two months of action. During that stretch, the Red Bulls recorded 3-0 and 4-0 shutout wins over San Jose (Apr. 16) and D.C. United (Apr. 21), respectively.
However, New York started to slump. In a stretch of 11 games dating from May 7 to Jul. 2, the Red Bulls managed an unimpressive record of 1-2-8, their only result in the form of a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution on Jun. 10. New York scored their largest victory of the year, a 5-0 shutout of Toronto FC on Jul. 6.
After the Toronto win, the Red Bulls again struggled to find results, going 0-3-5 in a stretch that lasted from Jul. 9 through Sept. 10. During this run, the Red Bulls suffered heavy defeats to Colorado (4-1, Jul. 20) and Real Salt Lake (3-0, Aug. 6).
That's when the resurgence began for the Red Bulls, who ended the regular season with a record of 4-2-1 in their last seven games, clinching a spot in the playoffs before closing out the year against Philadelphia (a 1-0 victory on Oct. 20).
In the wild-card round, New York defeated FC Dallas 2-0 and faced the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinals. Their 2-0 victory at home proved to be a fluke, as they were put to the sword 3-1 on aggregate on the heels of 1-0 and 2-1 defeats.
Thierry Henry was New York's top goal scorer, with 14 goals on the season. Dane Richards, Jan Gunnar Solli and Joel Lindpere recorded seven assists to lead the Red Bulls.
5. Seattle Sounders FC
Once again, Fredy Montero and the Seattle Sounders fell at the first hurdle in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
In spite of stumbling yet again in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders will be back in the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage next season after winning the US Open Cup.
Seattle finished the regular season with a record of 18-7-9 (63 points), good for second place in the league and the MLS Western Conference.
The Sounders did not have a notable start to the season, going 0-2-2 in their first four matches. The Sounders closed out the month of April with a 3-0-1 record, including a 3-0 victory over Toronto FC on Apr. 30. May proved to be a mediocre month for Seattle as they went 2-2-2.
Seattle started to take flight from June to mid-July, as they went 5-0-3. During this run, Seattle recorded a 4-2 win over New York on Jun. 23, an intense 3-2 win over Portland on Jul. 10 and a 4-3 goal festival over the Colorado Rapids on Jul. 16. The unbeaten run ended on Jul. 30 when they lost to the Houston Dynamo 3-1.
The Sounders went unbeaten in August, going 3-0-1 with their biggest result coming against the Columbus Crew, a 6-2 whipping on Aug. 27. The Sounders finished the regular season with a record of 5-2-0 in September and October, which included a 3-0 shutout of D.C. United on Sept. 17.
The men in Rave Green faced a stiff roadblock in Real Salt Lake. A 3-0 defeat away to RSL proved to be too much to handle for Seattle, who won the second leg of the Conference Semis 2-0 but lost 3-2 on aggregate.
Fredy Montero led the Sounders in all competitions with 18 goals, while Newcomer of the Year Mauro Rosales recorded 14 assists to lead the club.
4. Sporting Kansas City
it's amazing how a brand new stadium can turn the fortunes of a club like Sporting Kansas City around.
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images
Scenario: worst team in the MLS Eastern Conference. Insert brand-new stadium in Livestrong Sporting Park. End result: best team in MLS Eastern Conference. And you start to wonder, what has science done?
No, science hasn't done anything to change the fortunes of Peter Vermes's Sporting Kansas City. Pure will and determination helped the results for Sporting, who finished first in the MLS Eastern Conference with a record of 13-9-12 (51 points).
After opening the season with a 3-2 win over Chivas USA on Mar. 19, Sporting went winless in their next ten games, including a five-game losing streak. The dry spell was snapped with a 4-1 victory over FC Dallas on Jun. 12. From there, the fortunes changed, as they went unbeaten from Jun. 12 to Aug. 3, compiling a 6-0-5 record which included a 4-2 victory at home to Toronto FC on Jul. 23.
Although the unbeaten run ended on Aug. 6 against Seattle (1-2), the results continued to come. In their last 11 games of the regular season, Sporting went 6-2-3, and during that stretch, they recorded a 3-1 win over Portland on Aug. 17 and a 3-0 shutout of Houston on Sept. 10.
In the Conference Semifinals, Sporting shut out the Colorado Rapids 4-0 on aggregate and faced the Houston Dynamo in the Conference Final but lost 2-0.
Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury and Omar Bravo all recorded nine goals this season to lead Sporting Kansas City. Graham Zusi led Sporting in assists with seven.
3. Real Salt Lake
Jamison Olave and Real Salt Lake were run over by a white Galactic train from L.A.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake get to return to the CONCACAF Champions League next year, but that was the only good thing that happened in a season that saw one of their stars, Javier Morales, go down due to injury. While he did return to complete the season, his lack of presence hurt RSL's chances of winning the Supporters' Shield.
Nonetheless, Real Salt Lake finished the regular season with a record of 15-11-8 (53 points), good for third place in the league and the MLS Western Conference.
RSL stormed out of the gates, winning five out of their first six, including a 4-1 blowout victory over MLS Champions Los Angeles Galaxy on Mar. 26. From May 14 through June 22, results began to even out for Real, who went 1-2-5 that stretch.
Following that stretch, RSL won three out of the next four, including a 4-0 shutout of the San Jose Earthquakes on Jul. 23. From Jul. 30 through Aug. 20, Real Salt Lake went 1-4-0, falling to Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on Aug. 3 and Houston Dynamo on Aug. 20.
The Royals went on a five-game win streak afterwards from Aug. 27 through Sept. 21, but ended the regular season on a six-game winless streak with also included four straight defeats to D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Real Salt Lake got back on track in the Western Conference Semifinals, defeating the Seattle Sounders 3-2 on aggregate after winning the first leg 3-0. However, they faced the Los Angeles Galaxy next, and payback for that 4-1 victory would come in the form of a 3-1 loss to end their year.
Alvaro Saborio (11 goals) and Fabian Espindola (10 goals) led RSL in scoring, while team captain Kyle Beckerman led the club in assists with nine.
2. Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo were clearly missing Brad Davis during MLS Cup 2011.
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Dominic Kinnear's Houston Dynamo suffered the worst luck possible: midfielder Brad Davis injuring himself in the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal against Sporting Kansas City. That injury effectively ended Houston's chance of upsetting the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS Cup 2011.
In spite of falling short, the Dynamo have much to be proud of. Houston finished with a record of 12-9-13 (49 points), good enough for second place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
The Orange began their season on the wrong foot, going winless in their first three matches. Houston ended April with a 3-0-1 record, including big victories over Vancouver (3-1, Apr. 10) and D.C. United (Apr. 29). The Dynamo then went on a dry spell, going winless in the next seven matches before snapping the slump against Chivas USA (2-1, Jun. 11).
From June 18 through July 23, Houston went 1-2-3, dropping a 3-0 result to Chivas USA on Jul. 23. The Dynamo then went 3-0-2 in their next five matches from Jul. 30 through Aug. 20, culminating in a big 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake.
After a two-game losing streak which included a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 10, the Orange went unbeaten from Sept. 14 onward, going 4-0-2 in their last six matches, including a 3-1 win over Los Angeles on Oct. 23.
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Dynamo defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-1 on aggregate. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Houston shut out Sporting Kansas City 2-0. But in MLS Cup 2011, the injury to Davis proved too much to handle and the Dynamo lost 1-0 to the LA Galaxy.
Davis led the league in assists with 16, while Geoff Cameron, Brian Ching and Will Bruin led the team in goals with five on the year.
1. Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy: 2011 Major League Soccer Champions. Need we say more?
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
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.