Today the LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo inside The Home Depot Center in MLS Cup 2012. There is plenty on the line in this afternoon kickoff with the Galaxy looking for their fourth championship and Houston for their third. It'll be David Beckham's last match in MLS, and Landon Donovan is doing some mulling about his future as well.
It's an important step for the young league. This is the first year that the championship is hosted by the team with the better regular season finish, like how things are done in Pac12 football, instead of a neutral site game like the NFL does. The idea behind originally making it a neutral site game was that you can turn it into an event and drum up interest in the various MLS communities with two top teams.
Now things have reached a point where MLS believes there are enough hardcore fans to sell out a championship in two weeks. Galaxy fans have proven MLS right, as temporary bleachers have been set up in The Home Depot Center to meet demand. The mayor of Carson even issued a (awkwardly worded) proclamation commemorating the event.
So if you're an LA sports fan and you haven't been watching the Galaxy all season but love local championships, here are some things to look for. The LA Galaxy are an excellent ball control team, using efficient passing and clean dribbling to win the battle in the midfield.
Once they get up top they've got Robbie Keane, Galaxy golden boot winner and one of the best goal scorers in MLS. Landon Donovan has played up top with Keane but also in the midfield with David Beckham. Omar Gonzalez returned at midseason and since then the Galaxy defense has looked in ship shape.
We'll have a lot more to say after the match, but LA has an opportunity to continue to write soccer's legacy in America. It's going to be great theater, and I highly recommend tuning in.