Sun Nov 20 11:59pm EST
Not only did David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan become the first three high-priced Designated Players to win an MLS Cup since the salary cap exception (nicknamed after Beckham) was first instituted in 2007, but the trio combined to produce the only goal of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 MLS Cup final win over Houston. And they did it in front of more than 30,000 people in their home stadium, no less.
If Beckham does not re-sign with the Galaxy and returns to Europe as rumored, this will be an incredibly perfect ending for his time playing in America. Though injuries, two loans to Milan, and a book that boasted heavy criticism from Donovan had many MLS fans questioning his commitment when he first arrived, Beckham proved himself in the final season of his five-year deal, helping his team dominate the regular season (highlights here) and earning an MLS Comeback Player of the Year award along the way after returning from his Achilles' injury last year.
He won a Premier League title in his last year with Manchester United (and five times before that), he won a La Liga title in his last year with Real Madrid and now he's won an MLS Cup in what could be his last year with the Galaxy. Despite suffering a slight hamstring tear on Tuesday.
For Keane, this win tops off a dream week that started with him captaining Ireland to Euro 2012 qualification (Ireland's first and only since 1988) and gives him a rare trophy in a career that's taken him around Europe. And for Donovan, it once again proved how he's grown into an increasingly clutch performer. His goal against Houston was his fourth MLS Cup final goal -- a new record -- for his fourth MLS Cup trophy.
Even if these three wrote the ending to this season themselves, the only way they could've made it better would've been if they were granted superpowers and made joint mayors of Pancake Village.
With the economic benefit Beckham has provided to the league already firmly established, he now has the trophy to prove his value on the pitch (when he's healthy and not in Milan), too. And even if you're not a fan, you're sick of hearing about him and you dislike what he names his kids, you have to admit that he's proven yet again that he's a champion.
And now, whether he re-signs or not, he is contractually obligated to go on the Galaxy's Asia Pacific (Moneymaking) Tour in December. Not Disneyland.
The money shot.