Kings of the Cup: Galaxy vs. Dynamo by the numbers

A side-by-side comparison of the two teams in Saturday's championship match

All stats researched from data provided by the Elias Sports Bureau.

  • 8 – MLS Cup championships, of the last 12, that will have been won by either the LA Galaxy (2002, 2005, 2011) or the Houston Dynamo (2006, 2007) and the Dynamo's previous incarnatin, the San Jose Earthquakes (2001, 2003). The teams will also have finished runner-up a combined four times (LA 2001, 2009; Houston 2011; TBD 2012), accounting for one half of the 24 appearances in the MLS Cup over those 12 years.
  • 491 – Minutes since a Houston Dynamo player still on his feet scored against the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center; it was Franco Caraccio in a 2-2 tie on April 19, 2008. Since then, the Galaxy have beaten Houston five consecutive times in LA, including three by 1-0 scorelines (winners by Todd Dunivant and Landon Donovan twice, one by penalty) and the 2009 Western Conference Championship in extra time (Gregg Berhalter, Donovan penalty). The lone Houston goal came in a 4-1 rout in 2010, when Cam Weaver blocked a Donovan Ricketts clearance into goal but was knocked out after colliding with Ricketts on the play.
  • 0.67 – Career playoff goals against average (810 minutes) of Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, the second-lowest mark in MLS history behind Adin Brown (0.66). Hall could pass Brown with a 90-minute shutout.
  • 0.73 – Career playoff goals-against average (864 minutes) of LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders, the third-lowest mark in MLS history among goalkeepers with at least 300 minutes and fourth lowest overall. Saunders could tie Brown mark with a 90-minute shutout or pass him with a 120-minute shutout.
  • 21, 12 – Goals and assists, respectively, for Donovan in 33 career playoff games. Saturday’s final will be his 34th career playoff game, matching the length of the league’s current regular season.
  • 4 – Houston players expected to start this year’s final in the same position as last year’s final: Hall, Bobby Boswell, Adam Moffat, Calen Carr. The number could drop to three if Carr is held out of the lineup; he is listed as probable with a hamstring inury.
  • 8 – LA Galaxy players expected to start this year’s final in the same position as last year’s final: Saunders, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Dunivant, Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee, Robbie Keane. The number could rise to 10 if Donovan starts in midfield and A.J. DeLaGarza starts at center back.
  • 8 – Houston players who started at the same position in both the 2006 and 2007 championship games: Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Eddie Robinson, Ryan Cochrane, Wade Barrett, Brian Mullan, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis.
  • 0 – Houston players who have appeared in all three of the club’s MLS Cup finals. Brian Ching (2007) and Davis (2011) both missed finals due to injury, and Ricardo Clark missed  the 2006 edition to injury and 2007 due to suspension. Robinson was a substitute in the 2011 final but did not play.
  • 2 – Galaxy players who have appeared in the club’s last three MLS Cup finals (2005, 2009, 2011): Donovan and Dunivant.
  • 8 – Players from each team who were on the 18-man rosters for the 2009 Western Conference Championship game and are expected to dress for Saturday’s MLS Cup final. LA’s total rises to nine if Bryan Jordan dresses. The Galaxy total includes seven expected starters; Houston’s includes five.
  • 8 – Game-winning playoff goals by Donovan, the most in MLS history. Jaime Moreno, who ranks second, has only five.
  • 4 – Game-winning playoff assists by Donovan and Beckham, tied for fourth in MLS history. The top total is five, shared by league greats Marco Etcheverry, Cobi Jones and Mullan. Beckham has played at least 500 fewer minutes than any player in the top six.
  • 3 – Game-winning playoff assists by Houston Dynamo midfielder Davis, tied for seventh in league history with Houston assistant coach Steve Ralston and six others.
  • 8 – Career playoff assists by Houston’s Davis and LA’s Beckham, tied for 10th in MLS postseason history. Donovan has 12 to rank fourth, two behind former Galaxy star Mauricio Cienfuegos.