The Scene: The 2005 MLS Cup Final was played at Pizza Hut Park before nearly 22,000 fans. It featured the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New England Revolution, so it was a rematch of the classic 2002 MLS Cup Final, which the Gals had won.
Once again, the Galaxy would best the Revs in the Final and hoist their second MLS Cup trophy.
The Build-Up: NER had won the East and finished second in the race for the Shield. The Gals meanwhile had stunk and barely qualified for the playoffs despite finishing 13-13-6. Both teams had easily bested their playoff competition and were set to square off in the Final. Most folks figured the Revs would finally win the title against the sloppy Gals.
The Game: Some people would call this game a snoozer because no one scored during regulation, but I believe it was one of the best coached games (at least defensively) I have ever seen. It also had tons (and I mean tons) of cards and fouls. In the 105th minute, Guillermo Ramirez broke the deadlock and handed the Gals their second title.
The Legacy: The game was significant because the Gals completed the MLS Cup/US Open Cup Double by winning the title, and Landon Donovan continued his remarkable ascent up the US soccer food chain. For the Revs, it would be their second of four losses in MLS’s biggest game. Someday, I hope Mr. Nicol gets his title. Lord knows he deserves it.