Mike Magee scored the go-ahead goal on a pass from David Beckham in the 58th minute, and Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane also scored as the Los Angeles Galaxy advanced to the MLS Cup with a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday night in the Western Conference final in Carson, Calif.
With spectacular plays from their trio of superstars, Los Angeles advanced to face the Houston Dynamo in the MLS title game Nov. 20 at Home Depot Center, where the Supporters’ Shield-winning Galaxy haven’t lost all year.
Beckham will play for his first MLS title in the final game of his groundbreaking five-year contract with the Galaxy. His sublime crossing pass set up Magee’s third goal of the postseason for Los Angeles, which advanced to its record seventh MLS title game with three victories in the past eight days.
“When we walked through the tunnel for the second half, we heard some of their players saying we were tired, we were done,” Beckham said. “I think that inspired us a little bit. ... We’re happy to be winning the Western final tonight, but we’re not getting carried away.”
Alvaro Saborio scored for Salt Lake, which beat Los Angeles in the 2009 MLS Cup.
Beckham left Thursday’s playoff victory over New York with back spasms but played well to extend his MLS tenure for at least two weeks. Beckham is in the midst of his best MLS season with rumors swirling about his future, but he served up yet another phenomenal scoring pass to Magee and several additional chances before leaving to a standing ovation from the crowd of 23,437 in stoppage time.
Donovan scored his MLS-best 19th playoff goal on a first-half penalty kick, and Keane made a stellar run in the 68th minute for the Irish striker’s fourth goal in 10 games with his new team.
“The three games we played this week were as difficult as any we’ve played all year,” Donovan said.
The Galaxy had MLS’ best regular-season record for the second straight year, but it finally added playoff success after falling short in the past two seasons. Los Angeles is 14-0-5 at home in MLS games this season after two playoff wins, along with three CONCACAF Champions League victories.
Dynamo 2, at Sporting KC 0: Andre Hainault scored his second goal of the postseason, and Houston set up its meeting with Los Angeles for the MLS Cup by winning the Eastern Conference title game.
Carlo Costly added a late insurance goal for the Dynamo, which extended its unbeaten streak to nine and reached the league final for the first time since winning back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007.
Kansas City, which rebounded from an 0-6-1 start to finish atop the East in the regular season, has not made the title game since finishing as the runner-up in 2004.
The win also puts the Dynamo in the CONCACAF Champions League for the 2012-13 season. Houston last qualified for the competition in 2009-10.
Hainault put Houston up 1-0 in the 53rd minute, tapping in Jermaine Taylor’s headed pass after a free kick by Adam Moffat.
Taylor was a first-half injury replacement for playmaking midfielder Brad Davis. Davis, who led MLS with 16 assists this season, injured his right quadriceps trying to tackle the ball away from Sporting’s Graham Zusi in the 37th minute.
Costly’s goal came in the 87th minute, with Sporting pushed forward in search of an equalizer. He took a long pass from Luiz Camargo, beat defender Aurelien Collin into open space, and slotted the ball past keeper Jimmy Nielsen from the top of the penalty area.