Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, MLS Cup Playoffs 2011: LA Cruises To 3-1 Victory

Second half goals by Mike Magee and Robbie Keane pushed the Galaxy past RSL to book their spot in the MLS Cup final against the Dynamo

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Full Time, LA Going To MLS Cup Final

The Los Angeles Galaxy will be meeting the Houston Dynamo in an all AEG MLS Cup Final at the Home Depot Center, thanks to their 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday night. RSL was without Nat Borchers and played a hobbled Jamison Olave, and it was obvious that Olave was not at his best. That, combined with some brilliant play by David Beckham and Robbie Keane led LA to a well-deserved victory in an entertaining match.

The opening 20 minutes of the match were a bit dull, but things finally got very interesting in the 23rd minute, when Andy Williams shoved Omar Gonzalez in the box and gave away a penalty. Landon Donovan converted to put LA up, but it only took two minutes for Alvaro Saborio to equalize for RSL. The first half ended with a flurry of chances, as both Keane and Kyle Beckerman hit posts, but the two teams went into the locker room tied 1-1.

LA were the much better team in the second half, and clinched the victory in just over 20 more minutes of play. Mike Magee scored the eventual game-winner in the 58th minute, heading in a David Beckham cross, while Keane beat Olave in a one-on-one counter attack battle to seal the deal in the 68th. RSL pushed forward and tried to get back into the game, but ultimately couldn't find a way back in and was sent out of the playoffs by the winners of the regular season.

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Robbie Keane Seals The Deal?

There are 67 minutes gone, and it appears that the Los Angeles Galaxy will be playing a home game in the MLS Cup Final, thanks to a Robbie Keane goal. The score is now 3-1 LA over Real Salt Lake, and with the way Los Angeles has defended leads this season, it would be stunning to see Real Salt Lake score twice. The Irish international has had an excellent game, and it seemed like only a matter of time before he scored.

Unfortunately for RSL, a healthy Jamison Olave probably would have prevented the goal. When Keane picked up the ball 20 yards outside of the penalty area, it appeared that Olave would be able to close him down, but the central defender couldn't get Keane off the ball, then couldn't react when Keane cut back onto his right foot. He placed his shot into the back of the net at the far post, and that appears to put an end to RSL's cup dreams.

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Mike Magee Scores Go-Ahead Goal

The Los Angeles Galaxy now have a lead in the Western Conference Final over Real Salt Lake, thanks to a beautiful cross by David Beckham and a header by Mike Magee. Beckham has had a fantastic game, delivering pinpoint deep balls, crosses and set pieces all game long, and his great work has finally paid off with a 60th minute assist.

It was as simple as goals get, at it showed off why playing Magee - a striker - on the wing is a great idea. Cutting into the far post, he got onto Beckham's cross unmarked and nodded it in. Simple as you like.

And while the Galaxy were celebrating, less than a minute later, Fabian Espindola hit the underside of the crossbar. By the sound of it, this shot caused Ian Darke to pee his pants. This game is kind of awesome. 2-1 LA after 65 minutes.

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Chad Barrett Makes Me Cry

I really want to like Chad Barrett. He's really a talented guy. A big, strong, quick striker with a high work rate. He's obviously a reasonably intelligent footballer, because he always gets himself into great positions to score goals. And then he doesn't score them. The reason he doesn't score them is because he is Chad Barrett.

Oh sure, he gets a goal once in a while. Barrett actually has seven this season, which is almost exactly his expected goal output based on his previous four years as a first team regular in MLS. He scores about seven or eight goals per year, which is a decent output. But he should win the golden boot every single year. There is not a player in MLS who gets more clear-cut goal scoring opportunities than Chad Barrett. He probably had double the open nets or one-on-ones that Chris Wondolowski had. It's incredible.

In the 52nd minute of this Western Conference Final between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, Chad Barrett missed a golden opportunity. He had the entire goal at his mercy on a free header and could have put it in a million different places and scored. Instead he found Will Johnson's face. He headed a ball - while in front of an open net - directly into Will Johnson's face.

I've hit my breaking point. I have watched this at least 50 times in the last five years and laughed or just shook my head every time. Now I am finally upset. WHY CHAD BARRETT WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!?

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Halftime Score, Tied 1-1 In Crazy Game

Well this got fun at the end! The first 20 minutes of the Western Conference Final between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake was a bit dull, before both teams were able to grab goals from dead balls. Landon Donovan converted a penalty in the 23rd minute, which was followed by a goal by Alvaro Saborio on the corner kick. Things settled down for a while after that, but got nice and crazy at the end of the half.

Robbie Keane can count himself unlucky to score, as he's created a couple of spectacular scoring opportunities, hitting the post one one occasion and bending another fantastic shot just inches wide of the post. He hasn't been terribly active, but when he's got the ball around the penalty area, he's looked dangerous.

Things got a bit nuts in stoppage time of the first half, where Real Salt Lake got unlucky. First, Sean Franklin made an awful challenge on Will Johnson that was an obvious yellow card and borderline, debatable red. The referee did not show a card. On the ensuing indirect free kick, Kyle Beckerman eventually unloaded a powerful shot after a scramble, but hit the post.

This game could go in all sorts of directions in the second half. It could build off the end of the second half and go crazy, or Jason Kreis and Bruce Arena could shut up shop and keep this one boring. I'm going to bet on the latter, and I hope I'm wrong.

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Alvaro Saborio Goal Levels Match At 1-1

When the Los Angeles Galaxy scored their penalty kick goal to make this game 1-0, it was supposed to spice things up quite a bit. Real Salt Lake were not willing to commit a lot of numbers forward in the early going, while LA were playing a very direct game. When Donovan scored, it was supposed to open things up and make the game entertaining. This lasted all of two minutes.

Alvaro Saborio has scored an equalizer for Real Salt Lake, and now it feels like the game is going to go back to square one with both teams afraid to give up a goal. The goal came, unsurprisingly, on a set piece and was assisted by Jamison Olave. Though the RSL defender isn't running well, he's still good at being large. In the 25th minute, he got his head to a corner kick and nodded it towards Saborio, who applied the finish. We're all square at 1-1, and who knows what the future holds.

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Landon Donovan Scores Penalty Kick

And now this game can get super fun. After a long period of relatively dull play where the only opportunities came from dead balls...well, okay. The goal still came from a dead ball. SHUT UP. The Los Angeles Galaxy lead Real Salt Lake 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick by Landon Donovan. Andy Williams was the man who committed the foul to give away the penalty, with Omar Gonzalez drawing it.

At first glance, the penalty call seemed soft. As Williams and Gonzalez challenged for a ball in the air, Williams made a little push from behind and Gonzalez went down easily. However, there was absolutely a push by Williams, and he never really made an attempt on the ball. Soft? Yes, but also correct. Landon Donovan stepped up and converted the penalty, giving the Galaxy a lead.

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation SoccerFor the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Vs. Real Salt Lake, 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs: Time, TV Schedule And More

Dominic Kinnear outcoached Peter Vermes in an interesting Eastern Conference Final, but let's be honest...it was the JV game. The Varsity take the field in the late game, as the Los Angeles Galaxy host Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center in the Western Conference Final. RSL were the best team in the league before they suffered injuries that they've since mostly recovered from, while LA won the Supporters' Shield. There's little doubt that these are the two best teams in the league at the moment. I assume you want to watch this on your glowing picture box. Here's all the info.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake - Western Conference Final (MLS Cup Playoffs Semifinal)

Game Date/Time: Sunday, November 6, 9:00 pm ET

Venue: Home Depot Center, Carson, California

TV: ESPN2/ESPN3 (USA - English), ESPN Deportes (USA - Spanish), TSN2 (Canada), ESPN Dos (Mexico and most of Latin America)

For all the latest updates and analysis of the MLS Cup playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation Soccer. We'll have live coverage of this game in our LA Galaxy vs. RSL StoryStream. For the more localized perspectives, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential and Real Salt Lake blog RSL Soapbox.

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Juninho Returns For LA Galaxy, Can Determine Real Salt Lake's Success Or Failure

Juninho returns to the Los Angeles Galaxy after suspension, and his battle in the midfield with Javier Morales will be key for both LA and Real Salt Lake in the MLS Western Conference Final.

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