What's buzzing:

Dirty Tackle

Landon Donovan makes up for bad miss with winning penalty in MLS Cup final

Dirty Tackle

In what might have been his final match before an extended break or even retirement, Landon Donovan overcame an uncharacteristic early miss to seal the L.A. Galaxy's second straight MLS Cup win over the Houston Dynamo in front of their home fans. After the match, he dedicated his go-ahead penalty in the 3-1 win to his friend Cody Ottersberg, who passed away at the end of October at the age of 22 following a six-year fight against Leukemia.

Though the pre-match hype was almost entirely dedicated to the fact that it was David Beckham's last in MLS and the game ended with the 30,510 people in attendance chanting "thank you Beckham," the win wasn't down to any one player. The defending champions started out strong, nearly getting a goal in the 12th minute when Beckham, who put in a fine performance, and Robbie Keane set up Donovan perfectly for what is usually an easy goal for him. But to the astonishment of everyone (including the trigger-happy confetti cannon operator), he put the ball just wide (video above).

Houston eventually took advantage of that gift by snatching a 1-0 lead before halftime with a Calen Carr goal on the counter attack. LA regained their fight in the second half though, getting a 60th-minute equalizer from defender and eventual man of the match Omar Gonzalez. Just five minutes later, Donovan had his chance at redemption and cooly slotted in his penalty to put the Galaxy up 2-1 (video below).

Robbie Keane went on to add a penalty of his own in stoppage time just for good measure. After the final whistle blew, Donovan told ESPN that his goal was for Ottersberg, whom he met through the Make A Wish Foundation and became a friend.

"A good buddy of mine, a few weeks back -- a Make-A-Wish kid -- unfortunately passed away," Donovan said. "Cody Ottersberg. And I kinda wanted to play for him today. We get some special moments with these kids and to the Ottersberg family, that was for you guys."

Earlier in the week, Donovan spoke to the LA Times and made it clear that he's feeling burned out. "I'm going to take as much time as I need and decide if and when I'm ready to come back," he said. "I can't put a time frame on that. If it takes two weeks and I'm ready to go again or two months or a year or two years. Or never. I don't know." At the Home Depot Center, while he and his teammates celebrated their latest title, he expressed a desire to spend some time with his family and "figure out the soccer later."

With this title, Beckham ends his time in LA with a winner's medal as he did at Manchester United and Real Madrid and Donovan equals a league record with his fifth MLS Cup. In addition to that, his penalty makes him the league's all-time leading scorer in the regular season and playoffs combined with 146 career goals. As premature as retirement at 30 years old might seem, there are worse ways to go end a career.

View Comments (134)
  • Arsenal routs Villa 4-0 for FA Cup title

    Arsenal routs Villa 4-0 for FA Cup title

    Theo Walcott ended a frustrating season by scoring the first goal as Arsenal won a record 12th FA Cup title Saturday with a dominant 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in the final at Wembley Stadium. Walcott, who missed most of 2014 with a knee injury … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Arsenal crush Villa in final to claim FA Cup record

    Arsenal crush Villa in final to claim FA Cup record

    By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - Holders Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 12th time on Saturday, outclassing Aston Villa 4-0 at Wembley with stunning goals from Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez setting up victory. Per Mertesacker and Olivier … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Victims of FIFA's scandal: small clubs, youth, local leagues

    Victims of FIFA's scandal: small clubs, youth, local leagues

    The accused in the FIFA scandal are easy to spot: globe-trotting executives charged with diverting millions meant to build the game to their personal accounts. ''The reason that these people were able to make so much money corruptly goes to the … More »

    AP - Sports - 35 minutes ago
  • FIFA's Blatter comes out fighting despite scandal and divisions

    FIFA's Blatter comes out fighting despite scandal and divisions

    By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA President Sepp Blatter came out fighting on Saturday as he began his fifth term in charge of football's governing body, implying that the United States timed the announcement of a major corruption probe to … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago
  • Blatter will not see out term of office says FA's Dyke

    By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter will be forced to resign over the corruption scandals swirling around the game's world governing body, English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke told reporters on Saturday. … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago