Landon Chokes and RSL are Champs!-Mark Lincir
The kick was up and…it was over! When Landon Donovan’s penalty kick sailed over the crossbar, you had to know that destiny was suddenly on RSL’s side…and no, I didn’t signal the American football motion for a field-goal (I should have though).
Robbie Russell finally put an end to the penalty kick madness in the seventh round and sent the Galaxy home without the Cup…even though they won just about every award known to mankind this year.
Coach of the Year…check
Goalkeeper of the Year…yep
Goal of the Year…boy wonder again.
Championship…try again next year.
The eight-seed out of Utah proved everybody wrong by taking home the Cup this season. They did dominate the second half and made the Galaxy look very ordinary in a game that had a couple of nice goals, but lacked the intensity that most Finals feature.
Robbie Findley proved why he should go to Europe to fine tune his game this January and Nick Rimando might be looking at the same opportunities as he was consistent and a giant during the penalty kick shootout.
Beckham was largely a non-factor…injury or not, his performance was a huge disappointment. But he’ll be gone to AC Milan soon and it’s doubtful (at least in this expert’s humble opinion) that he will be back next season. Why would he?
Then there is Landon. The league belongs to him and all he had to do was step up in a massive moment to give his club the ultimate Cinderella Story ending…but he choked!
He’ll go to Europe this winter to workout and will come back in March to try for the Cup again. Was the Galaxy better this year with Bruce, Beckham and Boy Wonder? Sure they were, but they couldn’t have gotten much worse than they had been the previous three seasons.
All Landon is left to wonder is…what if? What if he didn’t disappear for the entire game after he got his assist (which he does all the time and if you ever see him play live you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about)? What if he was a big time player that always stepped up in the clutch when it mattered most and delivered? We’ll be left to wonder that for an awful long time.
Congrats to RSL! It will be interesting to see if the Cup brings them some much needed glamour and glitz so that they can sign some big time players to play in their relatively new stadium. They need to negotiate with Robbie and Nick tonight so that they don’t get away.
Beckham can leave and I could care less. The whole story of the Galaxy has gotten to be a bore, and I’m glad it’s over. Let’s all move on to more refreshing stories for next year…please! Like seeing if the Red Bulls can actually win some games in their new stadium with Henry starting up front for them. Now that’s something to look forward to!
Mark Lincir can be reached at email@example.com