When it comes to experience of having played in MLS Cup finals, no club has been there, done that as often as the LA Galaxy who on Sunday (3 pm ET) will host their third final in four years.
The Galaxy, charter members of MLS’s inaugural 1996 season and contestants of the league’s first final that year, has been to eight MLS Cup finals in total, winning four of them. They’ve been hugely successful in recent times, winning three of their last four trips (2005, 2011, 2012) after losing their first three (1996, 1999, 2001).
They’ve even played played Sunday’s opponent, the New England Revolution, twice in MLS Cup finals (2002, 2005), lifting the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy both times.
A look at five of the Galaxy’s most memorable MLS Cup finals appearances:
1996: D.C. United 3-2 LA Galaxy (golden goal) — The first MLS Cup final featured a heartbreaking, late comeback by United from two goals down before Eddie Pope scored the winner at the start of extra time.
2001: San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 LA Galaxy (golden goal) — The Galaxy fell to the Earthquakes, but a young Landon Donovan, budding star for the Quakes, lifted his first major professional trophy.
2002: LA Galaxy 1-0 New England Revolution (golden goal) — The Galaxy returned to MLS Cup the next year, knocking off the Revs thanks to Carlos Ruiz‘s 113th-minute winner, the last golden goal in finals history.
2005: LA Galaxy 1-0 New England Revolution (after extra time) — The two sides met in the final three years later and second-half substitute Guillermo Ramirez‘s extra-time goal lifted the Galaxy to their second MLS Cup.
2011: LA Galaxy 1-0 Houston Dynamo — Donovan scored the only goal of the game to win his second title with the Galaxy and fourth overall, numbers he would add to in 2012.