The 2011 MLS Cup Final kicks off tonight at 9:00 PM at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, and one team will feel right at home. The Los Angeles Galaxy are the Supporters' Shield winners and they are no strangers to playing in the Final. A win tonight for the Galaxy would make them strong candidates for the title of Best Team In MLS History, a title that DC United fans have rightfully claimed about their 1998 team until this point.
The match will be broadcast on ESPN and features a Houston Dynamo team that was not expected to come close to reaching the MLS Cup Final after struggling early in the season. The odds are certainly stacked against the Dynamo as their best player and MLS MVP runner-up Brad Davis will be forced to miss the game after suffering an injury during the team's win over Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Final.
The Galaxy also have an injured playmaker, but fortunately for them, David Beckham will be in uniform tonight. The British star is behind only Davis in assists this season and has performed at the highest level of his MLS career. Trying to earn another $250 Million contract perhaps? Regardless, if Beckham is in good form, and Landon Donovan plays to his normal level as well, the Galaxy might not be beatable. In fact, they haven't been beaten a single time while playing at the Home Depot Center this year. I don't expect that to change tonight.
My prediction is a disappointingly lopsided victory for the Galaxy. To the tune of 3-0 or so. Without Davis, the Dynamo will struggle to score against LA's backline that includes MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez. And with Beckham and fellow imported European designated player Robbie Keane in top form, no team on this continent will be able to prevent the Galaxy from scoring.
As United fans, we may all wish to root against the Galaxy. It just comes naturally to us. But a Galaxy win just might be inevitable.