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MLS Cup 2011: LA Galaxy Vs. Houston Dynamo: Early Storylines

Everyone knows that today the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo will be batting on a wet pitch for the Philip Anschutz Trophy. The trophy has been parading around Los Angeles from the Santa Monica Pier, to TMZ, to Rodeo drive. However, those unfamiliar with MLS may not know about what’s at stake beyond the Tiffany’s crafted silverware.

Whichever team wins tonight will be the second MLS team to win three titles. The other club is DC United with wins in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004. Two of those wins were under current Galaxy manager Bruce Arena, and two of those wins were over the LA Galaxy. The Houston Dynamo franchise moved from San Jose where they also won two titles, but the San Jose territory retained the Earthquakes history including their cup titles.

David Beckham is 36 and in the last year of his MLS contract. He won a league title in the last year with his two previous clubs, Manchester United (2001) and Real Madrid (2007). ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas was the Galaxy president and GM when David Beckham arrived in 2007.

The coach who wins tonight will be the first in MLS to win three titles. Bruce Arena, who left MLS for two World Cup cycles, would be the second head coach to win a title with two different MLS franchises. Dominic Kinnear guided the Dynamo to titles two years in a row after they moved from San Jose to Houston.