The Seattle Sounders defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 to win the Supporters’ Shield, the award given to the top MLS team at the end of the regular season.
There has been a lot of hype in the soccer world as the Major League Soccer playoffs approach. Landon Donovan’s last professional season is coming to an end but he has left a great impact on American soccer. He is the United States national team all time leader in goals, assists, points and games started according to ussoccer.com.
The Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders, currently two of the best teams in the MLS, ended their regular season playing each other twice. It all came down to the last game in Seattle where both teams played for the Supporters’ Shield.
The Supporters’ Shield is a trophy that is awarded to the best team in the regular season. The winning team can share it with the fans in thanks for their support all season.
With one game left in the regular season, the Galaxy and Sounders were tied at the top of the MLS standings with 61 points each.
The last game of the season was played on Oct. 25 in Seattle. The Sounders won 2-0 behind two goals from midfielder Marco Pappa in the last nine minutes of the game. With the Supporter’s Shield in the Sounders’ hands, the focus for both teams shifts to the playoffs.
The significance of the two games was extraordinary because both teams have MLS MVP candidates. Striker Robbie Keane for the Galaxy and striker Obafemi Martins for the Sounders are both trying to prove why they deserve to be the league’s MVP. However, Keane sat out of the second game due to a minor injury but plans on being back for the playoffs.
Senior Thiago Gaglianone, a midfielder/defender for the California Lutheran University men’s soccer team, believes the MVP award should go to Galaxy striker Robbie Keane for all of his accomplishments this season.
“I think Keane should get [MVP] this year because his performance is just amazing. All of his goals and assistances have helped his team a lot,” Gaglianone said. “He is the player that most of the time makes the difference in the games.”
Landon Donovan, the icon of American soccer played his last regular season game on Saturday for the Galaxy. Donovan had a roller coaster season after being cut from the World Cup roster but still broke MLS records.
This season, Donovan broke the record for all-time top goal scorer and all-time leading assister in the MLS. According to MLSsoccer.com he has scored a total of 144 goals and tallied 136 assists in his 13 seasons with the MLS. Donovan has won a total of five MLS Cups and is seeking his sixth as the playoffs begin.
Alexis Avila, a graduate of California Lutheran University and season ticket holder for the LA Galaxy, grew up watching Landon Donovan play and was also able to attend his last regular season home game on Oct. 19 against the Sounders.
“There is always buzz and excitement around Galaxy versus Sounders. Since they’ve entered the league, Seattle have been one of the best teams in MLS…The game last weekend was mostly huge because it was Landon Donovan’s last regular season home game. The game was sold out and extra seats were added,” said Avila in a phone interview. “In the 10th minute of the game everyone stood up and held cutout number 10s in the air while chanting his name, including the traveling Seattle fans – a testament to what he’s meant to the game in the US.”
Shawn Jackson, CLU alumnus and active MLS fantasy player, has been watching closely all season to see how the individuals perform. One of the biggest standouts to Jackson for his fantasy team does not come as a surprise.
“Donovan’s the best guy [America] has had statistically. I think his season took a slow start but something lit his fire and because his second half of the year was very impressive,” Jackson said. “I had him on my fantasy team mostly all season because he’s clearly been one of the top performers. I think he’s done his part to make soccer a bigger deal then it’s been in America and the MLS.”
Published October 29, 2014