The LA Galaxy have won the 2011 MLS Cup by beating Houston Dynamo 1-0 in Sunday’s final. Landon Donovan scored the only goal in the second half. After beating New York and Real Salt Lake in the previous play-off rounds, LA Galaxy now faced opposition from a Houston side that had significantly improved its form in recent weeks. The first half at Carson’s Home Depot Center was mostly uneventful. LA had the initiative and most of the possession, but failed to convert their advantage to actual scoring chances. The second half offered much more entertainment. Irish forward Robbie Keane thought to have scored the opening goal early in the half but was judged to have been off-side by the linesman. But in the 71st minute, star forward Landon Donovan did hit the target from close range after preparing work from David Beckham and Keane. LA had no difficulty defending their slender lead in the remainder of the match, and as such lifted their third ever MLS Cup trophy. Following the match, Donovan was handed the MLS Cup Final Most Valuable Player Award. “To be honest, the actual goal doesn’t mean a lot to me,” Donovan said following the game. “I, for the last month, have been so determined. I didn’t care who scored or if it was an own goal. Winning feels so good. Goals come and go, but when the whistle blew, that’s what I’ll remember. Teammate Beckham commented on the win and his time in the United States by saying that “it’s been the most enjoyable time of my career in America over the last year, and this just tops it off”. The English winger would not say whether he plans to move elsewhere now that his contract with the Galaxy has reached its end. The 2011 MLS season was a highly successful campaign for the Galaxy. Bruce Arena’s side finished at the top of the regular season table and as such won the MLS Supporters’ Shield. At the continental level, LA survived the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League and are now scheduled to featured in March’s quarter finals. Galaxy manager Arena won the MLS Manager of the Year Award, as announced by the league late last week. Moreover, the Defender of the Year Award went to Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez. The MLS Cup trophy is LA’s third, after winning it before in 2002 and 2005.