NEW YORK - MLS Cup is headed back to Tinseltown.
For a record fourth time, The Home Depot Center (HDC) in Carson, California, will play host to Major League Soccer’s championship match this fall, the league announced on Tuesday.
MLS Cup 2011 will be contested on November 20, 2011, on the home pitch of the LA Galaxy. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT and the match will be televised live on ESPN and Galavisión in the United States and on TSN2 in Canada.
“We are proud and excited to bring Major League Soccer’s championship event back to Los Angeles and The Home Depot Center, one of the finest sports venues in the United States,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “MLS Cup has grown into a four-day celebration of the world’s game in North America. We believe that Los Angeles and The Home Depot Center will be a superb stage for MLS Cup 2011.”
Fittingly for a town that loves its stars, LA has been the Hollywood-like set for some of the best individual performances in MLS Cup history.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto dominated MLS Cup 2008 at the HDC, setting up all three goals in leading the Columbus Crew to a 3-1 victory over New York Red Bulls for their first-ever league title in front of 27,000 fans.
In 2004, Alecko Eskandarian bagged a brace en route to D.C. United claiming their record fourth MLS Cup championship with a 3-2 victory over Kansas City Wizards. A year earlier, current Galaxy captain and LA-area native Landon Donovan also netted a pair in guiding San Jose Earthquakes to a wild 4-2 win over Chicago Fire on the home pitch of their Southern California rivals.
The Los Angeles area first played host to MLS Cup in 1998, when current Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak dished out two assists in guiding the expansion Fire to the title in a 2-1 win over D.C. United at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
As the official host team of MLS Cup 2011, the Galaxy are hoping to do something extremely rare: win the championship on their own turf. It’s only happened once in league history, when D.C. United claimed MLS Cup ’97 at RFK Stadium. New England Revolution nearly did it in 2002 at Gillette Stadium before falling to the Galaxy 1-0 in double overtime.
“Los Angeles is very familiar with hosting major events and this championship game is going to be embraced by the entire city," Galaxy president Tom Payne said. "We would like nothing more than to be playing in MLS Cup 2011 at home in front of our fans.”
MLS CUP SITES
2011 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)
2010 – BMO Field (Toronto)
2009 – Qwest Field (Seattle)
2008 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) [WATCH HIGHLIGHTS]
2007 – RFK Stadium (Washington)
2006 – Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)
2005 – Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)
2004 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)
2003 – The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)
2002 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
2001 – Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
2000 – RFK Stadium (Washington)
1999 – Foxboro Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
1998 – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
1997 – RFK Stadium (Washington)
1996 – Foxboro Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)