The Los Angeles Galaxy completed a domestic double when they defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 to capture the MLS Cup on this day in soccer history in 2005. They won the U.S. Open Cup earlier.
The march to the final and winning the MLS Cup was the first time in MLS history that the team entering the MLS Playoffs with the worst record had won the title. The Galaxy came into the playoffs with a .500 record.
After regulation ended deadlocked at 0-0, Guillermo ‘Pando’ Ramirez blasted a shot from outside the 18 over a crowded box to beat Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis. Landon Donovan started the play from a corner kick that forced Reis off his line to punch the ball clear but it only made it as far as Pando.
And who would have guessed the ending as Ramirex had the lowest shooting efficiency in MLS history that year with only 1 goal heading into the game from 62 shots, 30 on goal.
“I would have bet my mortgage that this guy wouldn’t have come in and been the one who made the difference,” Donovan told the Washington Post after the match. “I’m stunned, impressed and extremely happy for him.”
“He’s a player who had great inconsistencies . . . but he found the right time to get it done,” Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson said. “It was a very angry individual during the playoffs, not getting playing time, but when you’re winning, it’s very difficult to make changes. I just had a feeling he would do well tonight. . . . It was a great strike.”
The double was the last high point for years to come for the southern California side. They ended up firing Sampson during the 2006 season in new GM Alexi Lalas’ first major move in charge and then went on a three year streak of missing the playoffs, two of those years with David Beckham on the Galaxy squad, only returning in 2009.
Beckham was only the first major signing as the south CA side has been committed to having multiple designated players to help win titles. They won the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup titles. The 2011 title also completed a double with the Galaxy claiming the Supporters Shield that year as well.