Four MLS Cup winners face off to decide who is the best team in Galaxy history!
At the inception of this bracket, I was curious to see how to see how LA Galaxy fans would rate the best team of all time.
The points-per-game regular season metric was a good starting point to tell the story of some great teams that put themselves in a position to succeed in the postseason.
Ultimately, and probably to the surprise of no one, results in the postseason matter. MLS Cups matter. At the end of the day, fans have expressed that to be considered the best, you have to have lifted the MLS Cup at the end of your season. Points-per-game and Supporters Shields be damned.
Four MLS Cup winners entered the quarterfinals and four MLS Cup winners emerged victorious.
The largest margin of victory came from the 2011 team who earned a staggering 93% of the vote over a 1999 team that was 1 game away from winning it all.
The closest match-up also wasn’t really that close. The 2012 championship side earned more than three times as many votes as the high powered offense of a 1998 team who came into the bracket with the highest seeding.
Three teams from the Bruce Arena dynasty of the early 2010s remain along with Sigi Schmid’s first Galaxy team to ever win the big one.
You no longer need to decide if a championship matters, but it is now a matter of WHICH championship team you think is best.
Some final considerations before you vote. Are you voting on the best team in relation to their performance compared to other teams in that season? Are you playing this out in a fantasy world where you place the teams in a time machine and put them on the pitch together?
The good news is, there is no wrong answer! The Galaxy are guaranteed to be winners here, regardless of your criteria.
Here is how the rest of the bracket shook out.
Now let’s get to the Self Isolation Semifinals!
4) 2002 v 9) 2012
On this side of the bracket we have an Old School verses New School match up!
2002 saw some Galaxy originals like Cobi Jones and Mauricio Cienfuegos finally get their moment by winning both the regular season and the playoffs.
Ten years later, 2012 saw the iconic David Beckham get a fairytale send off flanked by arguably the most talented Galaxy team.
Can Carlos Ruiz break through the defense and shock the 2012 side?
Will Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane prove to be too much for a legendary defense featuring Alexi Lalas, Danny Califf, Tyron Marshal, Ezra Hendrickson, and Kevin Hartman?
I would imagine this will be a close one.
2) 2011 v 6) 2014
On the other side of the bracket we have the bookends of the Bruce Arena dynasty. Although it could be argued that the dynasty stretches from 2009 to 2016, as discussed on the podcast.
The 2011 team was dominant in all facets, cruising through regular season with only five losses before going undefeated in the postseason.
Young talent mixed with veteran experience made the 2011 squad practically unbeatable.
Do you want to try and score against Sean Franklin, AJ DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, and Todd Dunivant? Or maybe track back on defense to stop a David Beckham pass from connecting to Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane running in full stride?
The 2014 team may not have been as commanding in the way they dismantled opponents, but they were probably the most clutch team when it mattered most.
Just when you think you have this 2014 team on the ropes, Juninho could send in a golazo for the much needed away goal. Gyasi Zardes could put himself in the right place at the right time. Landon Donovan could fire back with a chip on his shoulder after being snubbed from the World Cup. And lastly, Robbie Keane could show you why he was the league’s MVP by scoring the game winning goal.
Dominance vs Clutch. Who do you got?
Check back soon to vote in the finals to determine the greatest LA Galaxy team EVER!