1996: At the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on April 13th, the Galaxy played host to the MetroStars and won 2-1. The Galaxy’s inaugural roster provided stars such as Cobi Jones, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Robin Fraser, Eduardo Hurtado, goalkeeper Jorge Campos, and coach Lothar Osiander. In June, the Galaxy and Tampa Bay Mutiny played a game at the Rose Bowl in front of 92,216 fans. After a fast start, the Galaxy would struggle through the middle portion of the season, but pick it up in the last third of the season to finish 19-13 and clinch the Western Conference regular-season championship. The Galaxy would defeat the San Jose Clash in three games in the first round of the playoffs. In the next round, the Galaxy would sweep the Dallas Burn and become MLS’s first Western Conference representative in MLS Cup.
1996 MLS Cup: Coming into New England’s Foxboro Stadium, the Galaxy were favorites against DC United. It would not be easy, however, as the Boston area had dealt with massive driving rainstorms all week, and game day wouldn’t be any different. Once the game started, the weather was forgotten about, and Cienfuegos scored the first MLS Cup goal in the fifth minute. Chris Armas would score another goal in the 56th minute, and the Galaxy appeared certain to have the first championship in their grasp. But the resilient DC United came back as Tony Sannah scored in the 73rd minute. Shawn Medved evened the score with a goal in the 82nd minute, and the game headed for overtime. Marco Etcheverry would take a corner kick toward the Galaxy penalty area, and Eddie Pope headed the ball in the net to give United the championship and send the Galaxy back home with nothing to show for their strong performance.
1997: In the early stages of the season, the Galaxy still seemed to be in pain over their championship defeat. Starting the season losing seven of their first eight, the club fired Osiander and replaced him with assistant Octavio Zambrano. Under Zambrano, the Galaxy would put together a strong run and qualify for the playoffs with an even .500 record of 16-16. In the playoffs, though, the Galaxy would be upset by the Dallas Burn in three games.
1998: The Galaxy would start the season strong and could not be stopped. They would shatter records, including most goals scored in a season at 85 and win their first Supporter’s Shield with the best record in MLS history at 24-8 and a record 68 points. The Galaxy didn’t stop there as they got revenge on the Dallas Burn by sweeping and demolishing them. But in the Conference Final, their historic season would fall down the black hole as they were swept by the expansion Chicago Fire.
1999: Like two years earlier, the Galaxy would struggle out of the gate, and would even be in last place by the end of May. At that time, the Galaxy fired Octavio Zambrano and would name UCLA’s Sigi Schmid coach to turn their season around. The move seemed to work as the Galaxy would pick it up again and finish the season at 20-12 and earned their second straight Western Conference championship. In the first round, the Galaxy would shut down the Colorado Rapids in two games, not allowing Colorado to score a goal. In the next round, the Galaxy would be tested by the Dallas Burn before dispatching them in the third game to advance back to MLS Cup.
1999 MLS Cup: Under clear blue skies at New England’s Foxboro Stadium, the Galaxy would be in a rematch from three years earlier against DC United. The Galaxy wouldn’t be able to get anything going this time as Jaime Moreno scored a goal for United in the 19th minute. Just before halftime, goalkeeper Kevin Hartman would send the dagger into his own team’s heart as his teammate Steve Jolley played a ball back to him. Using his feet, he dribbled away from one defender, then tried to blast the ball upfield but stubbed his toe, and the ball landed right at Ben Olsen’s feet, and he slotted it in the empty net. The blunder would be the turning point as United held on to preserve the shut out and again, send the Galaxy home with no hardware.
2000: In their second season under Sigi Schmid, the Galaxy would play well again and qualify for the playoffs for the fifth straight year with a record of 14-10-8, earning the 5th seed. In May, the Galaxy would help globalize MLS by signing Mexican star Luis Hernandez. In the first round of the playoffs, the Galaxy would sweep the Tampa Bay Mutiny to move onto the Conference Final. There, the club would face the team they had battled with for first in the West, the Kansas City Wizards. The Galaxy would tie the Wizards in the first game and then beat them in the second game, needing only one more point to advance to MLS Cup again. But the Wizards would win the third game, and Miklos Molnar would send the Wizards to MLS Cup with a goal in the series-tiebreaking session.
2001: In a season that would be cut short by the September 11th attacks, the Galaxy were able to hold off a strong challenge from the San Jose Earthquakes and finish the abbreviated season at 14-7-5 and atop the West. In the first round of the playoffs as the 3rd seed, the Galaxy would fall behind in the third game against the MetroStars. But the team would come together and beat the MetroStars in the third game, and then Mauricio Cienfuegos netted a goal in the series-tiebreaker to move on. In the next round, the Galaxy would tie the Chicago Fire in the first game before winning the next two in overtime to advance to their third MLS Cup.
2001 MLS Cup: Certain that they would emerge victorious this time, the Galaxy would go head-to-head with their in-state nemesis, the San Jose Earthquakes. It would be the first time LA would play in the MLS Cup that was not in Foxboro, as it was played this time at Columbus Crew Stadium in the capital of Ohio. The Galaxy would grab the lead first on a 21st-minute goal by Luis Hernandez. The team was now determined to hold onto the lead and grab their first championship. They were unable to do so as the Quakes’ star Landon Donovan evened the match with a goal in the 43rd minute. There would be no score from that point on, and the first overtime in five years was needed to determine a champion. The Galaxy wanted to put all of their demons to sleep in the extra session, but six minutes into the period, San Jose’s Dwayne DeRosario found a long pass, dribbled between two defenders and scored on a shot, that Kevin Hartman got a piece of, but couldn’t keep out. Once again, the Galaxy failed to win it all and faced the all-too-familiar feeling of going home with no championship.
2002: Another MLS Cup loss only made the Galaxy an extremely hungry team. They acquired Guatemalan superstar Carlos “El Pescadito” Ruiz. Ruiz would make noise all over the league as he helped the Galaxy to their second Supporter’s Shield with a record of 16-9-3 in their last season in the Rose Bowl. In the first round of the playoffs, the Galaxy would be taken to the limit by the Kansas City Wizards before LA prevailed and won in the third game. In the Conference Final, the Galaxy would have no trouble with the Colorado Rapids as they swept them in two games to advance to their second straight MLS Cup and third in four years.
2002 MLS Cup: To say that the odds were against the Galaxy heading into the championship game would be understated. They had been there three times before, losing each one. Two of which were in overtime. The match would be played in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where they had failed twice before. The game was played on October 20th, which was exactly six years to the date that LA lost to DC in the inaugural MLS Cup in Foxboro. And just to make it a little trickier for the Galaxy, they were facing the hometown New England Revolution with 61,316 fans cheering for them. For much of the match, the two teams would not get anything going as the championship match headed to overtime for the second straight year. That only put more pressure on the Galaxy as they had been involved in the only three MLS Cup matches that went into overtime. After coming very close to losing again with a Winston Griffiths shot that hit the crossbar which would have won it for New England, the Galaxy counterattacked and match MVP Carlos Ruiz softly struck a shot that got by Revs goalkeeper Adin Brown. After three tries, the Galaxy finally had a championship.
2003: Now that they finally had a trophy to their credit, the Galaxy opened their new stadium, the Home Depot Center on June 7th, and defeated the Colorado Rapids, 2-0. But for their new home to be ready, the team had to play a record eight games on the road to start the season and failed to win a game. The Galaxy would finish the season without a win away from home the entire season. After the season’s final match, the Galaxy stood at 9-12-9 and had the final playoff spot in the West. In their aggregate goal series with the San Jose Earthquakes, they seemed well on their way to vindication for the MLS Cup loss two years earlier as they held a 4-0 lead midway through the second game. A funny thing happened as the Quakes scored four unanswered goals to force a series-tiebreaker. In that session, the Quakes’ Rodrigo Faria score to send the Quakes onto the next round and send the Galaxy home wondering what might have been.
2004: Looking to return to the top of MLS, the Galaxy would go through a mediocre first half of the season before three straight wins over the summer would get them back into contention in the Western Conference. But from July 14th on, the Galaxy would win only two more games, one in September and one in October. When the smoke cleared, the Galaxy had a record of 11-9-10, good enough for 2nd in the West and a playoff berth, remaining the only club in MLS history to have clinched a playoff spot in every year of league’s existence. In the playoffs, the Galaxy withstood an early challenge from the Colorado Rapids to win the aggregate goal series, 2-1, scoring twice in Game 2. In the conference final, the Galaxy’s season would come to an end in Kansas City with a 2-0 loss to Davy Arnaud and the Wizards.
2005: Having to share their stadium with expansion Chivas USA, the Galaxy’s season would be a roller coaster ride. After acquiring Landon Donovan, the Galaxy was expected to return to the top of Major League Soccer. After winning six of their first nine games, LA would only win two games in the next two months. The club would rebound and go back into the playoff picture. The Galaxy alternated wins, losses, and ties the rest of the way to finish with a record of 13-13-6. They were the lowest-seeded playoff team in all of MLS. But once the playoffs got underway, LA became a hot team. They made their 4-2 aggregate goal playoff series win over the best team in the league, the San Jose Earthquakes, look easy. What made it even more impressive was the fact that the Quakes were 19 points better than LA in the regular season. In the conference final, the Galaxy kept their hot streak going to their fifth MLS Cup, shutting out the Colorado Rapids, 2-0 on two goals by Landon Donovan.
2005 MLS Cup: Considered lucky to be back in MLS Cup as the team with the worst record in the playoffs, the Galaxy had earned a date with the New England Revolution in a rematch of the title game three years earlier. Like the game three years earlier, this would be a scoreless affair with very little breaks going either way. Near the end of the first overtime period, Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez scored on a rebound after Matt Reis punched away a corner kick. From there, the Galaxy kept the Revolution off the scoreboard and won their second MLS Cup. Naturally, Ramirez would be named Cup MVP for the goal.
2006: Right before the defense of their second MLS crown was to start. The Galaxy were thrown into mourning as their general manager, Doug Hamilton, died of a heart attack on the way back home from Costa Rica. Seemingly distracted by the untimely death of their beloved front office leader, the Galaxy stumbled badly out of the gate, winning twice in April, losing all of their contests in May and alternated ties and losses throughout June. The team would do better, winning eight games in the summer to find themselves back in playoff contention, but a four-game September winless streak kept the Galaxy out of the playoffs for the first time in MLS’ 11-year history with a record of 11-15-6. In the middle of this disappointing season, Steve Sampson was dismissed and replaced by Frank Yallop. The following January, the Galaxy cashed in big, signing the world-famous David Beckham to play for the team starting in the summer.
2007: If the previous season was considered a disappointment to the Galaxy and their fans, this season would be even more difficult to digest. Early on, the team suffered injuries to many key players and limped to last place in MLS. Of course, the event that brought the eyes of the world to the Galaxy came on July 13th, when David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles amid much fanfare and took his roster spot during a widely publicized press conference. To complement his arrival, a midseason logo and uniform change was made to look similar to his old team, Real Madrid. The Galaxy would play in front of huge crowds the remainder of the year as other teams’ fans wanted a piece of viewing pleasure of him playing. Unfortunately, he would suffer an ankle injury and would play in a limited fashion. This seemed to be iconic of LA’s season as they finished at 9-14-7 and out of the playoffs again. Afterward, Cobi Jones, the Galaxy’s original hero having been with the club since its inception, announced his retirement and became an assistant coach for the Galaxy.
2008: After two straight years without the playoffs, expectations were high for the Galaxy entering the season as David Beckham was fit healthy and in LA for the entire season. However, a cloud of disappointment hung over the team all season, as Beckham, who was named team captain, clashed with Landon Donovan. Beckham who longed for the competition of the European Premiere league continued to big a bust in the MLS, while Donovan had a superb season leading the league in scoring, but the Galaxy again put together a terrible season, missing the playoffs with a record of 8-13-9, enduring a long seven-game losing streak that saw them plunge from first place early in the season, to the bottom of the Western Conference. Meanwhile, off the field, there was management shakeup as former US National Coach Bruce Arena took over the team in the middle of the season, while General Manager Alexi Lalas was dismissed.
2009: In the first eleven weeks of the season, the Galaxy had a difficult time getting results, winning one, losing one and tying nine times. The summer and back end of the year was far kinder to the Galaxy as they would win four in a row at one point and finish on top of the West with a record of 12-6-12. Because of so many ties, the Galaxy only had a +5 goal difference. In the conference semis, the Galaxy edged out their in-city rivals Chivas USA 3-2 on goal differential. In the conference final, two power outages could not stop the Galaxy, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0.
2009 MLS Cup: In MLS Cup for the sixth time, The Galaxy headed north to Seattle to face off against Real Salt Lake. LA controlled the tempo, and it paid off in the 41st minute when Mike McGee put his team on top. In the second half, RSL made its comeback, and Robbie Findlay provided the equalizer in the 64th minute. Almost immediately after the goal, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts had to come out of the game with a hand injury from earlier in the game. The game would go scoreless after that and would require a penalty shootout. The round would go back and forth into a sudden death scenario where Robbie Russell score the winning kick, and the star-laden Galaxy watched the underdog Real Salt Lake celebrate their first title.
2010: Unlike the previous year, the Galaxy came soaring out of the gate, winning 10 of their first 12 matches and wouldn’t lose their first game until just before the World Cup break. With much of their core players remaining, the Galaxy put it on cruise control the rest of the season and finished in first place with a 17-7-8 record. The team would have no problem with the Seattle Sounders in the first round of playoffs, dispatching them 3-1 on aggregate. But in the conference final, FC Dallas would shut the Galaxy out 3-0.
2011: Rumors began flying from the start that this season would be David Beckham’s swan song in MLS. The club was determined to give him a solid chance to win a championship, and they accompanied him with Tottenham Hotspur star Robbie Keane, and the two did not disappoint their bosses. The Galaxy would breeze through the league, losing only two of their first 23 matches and having two separate four-game winning streaks on the way to a stellar 19-5-10 record. In the playoffs, the Galaxy would make quick work of the New York Red Bulls 3-1 on aggregate and then storming past Real Salt Lake 3-1 in the conference final.
2011 MLS Cup: Back in MLS Cup for the seventh time in their history, the Galaxy looked to fan support to help them as the match was played at the Home Depot Center against the Houston Dynamo. The regular stars on the team wanted to help David Beckham, and Robbie Keane win their first title. In the game, the Galaxy controlled every aspect of the game, but a goal did not come until the 72nd minute from MVP Landon Donovan on a breakaway. The Dynamo were unable to equalize, and the Galaxy celebrated a third MLS Cup winner in front of their hometown fans.
2012: With an MLS Cup title under his belt, David Beckham announced that this season would be his last in MLS. Early on, the club looked to be in trouble as they won only three of their first twelve matches and were in danger of not making the playoffs. Fortunately, after mid-June, the Galaxy would win twelve games, and that put the team in the West knockout round with a fourth-place record of 16-12-6. At home against the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Galaxy made their fans nervous as the visitors’ Darren Mattocks scored in the third minute, and the defense held off a charge for most of the match. But in the 69th minute, Mike Magee scored, and Landon Donovan scored a penalty kick four minutes later to send the Galaxy to a date with league-leading San Jose Earthquakes. In that first leg, the Quakes’ Victor Bernardez scored a stoppage-time goal to win 1-0, but the Galaxy rebounded behind two goals by Robbie Keane and one by Mike Magee to hold off the Quakes’ late goal to move on 3-2 on aggregate. In the West Final, LA made quick work of the Seattle Sounders, 4-2 in their series to move on to the club’s eighth MLS Cup.
2012 MLS Cup: By virtue of having the better record, the Galaxy got to play another MLS Cup at home against the Houston Dynamo. In the first half, the Dynamo held the better of the play, and it paid off in the 44th minute on a goal by Calen Carr. Not wanting to lose at home in the title game, the Galaxy rebounded and fought back on a goal by Omar Gonzalez on a cross in the 60th minute. Five minutes later, a handball by a Dynamo player in his penalty area led to a penalty kick for the home team, and Landon Donovan converted it. The Galaxy’s defense kept the Dynamo at bay, and Robbie Keane sealed the title for LA by converting a penalty kick in the 94th minute, sending David Beckham out with back-to-back MLS Championships. Gonzalez earned MVP honors with his tying goal.
2013: With the David Beckham era in Los Angeles concluded, the Galaxy looked to become the first-ever team to win three championships in a row. And they seemed to be on the right path, winning five of their first ten games before alternating wins, losses, and ties through the summer. A tough 2-2-4 stretch to end the season gave LA a record of 15-11-8 and third place in the West. But after winning the first leg of their conference semifinal round to Real Salt Lake 1-0, the team would lose the next leg 2-0 to dash any hopes of a three-peat.
2014: Midway through the year and amid unhappiness of being left off the USA’s World Cup roster, Landon Donovan announced that this would be his final year before retirement. After a mediocre 4-3-3 start to the year, the Galaxy would go on a torrid stretch through the summer, going 8-2-1, including a five-match winning streak to propel themselves to a second-place record of 17-7-10, three points behind Seattle for the top spot. Following a scoreless draw in their first leg against Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy rode the wave of a Donovan hat trick plus goals by Robbie Keane and Marcelo Sarvas to cruise to the next round 5-0. In the West Final against Seattle Sounders FC, Sarvas scored to help the home side win the first leg 1-0, and Juninho scored in Seattle for the critical tiebreaking goal to edge out the Sounders who made the aggregate 2-2 on two goals, but the away goal rule sent the Galaxy on.
2014 MLS Cup: In Landon Donovan’s swansong match, the Galaxy walked out onto their home pitch at StubHub Center for their league-record ninth MLS Cup against old foe New England Revolution, who they had beaten in this stage twice before. Early on, the Galaxy had decent chances but couldn’t put a ball past Bobby Shuttleworth as a scoreless first half unfolded. But seven minutes into the second half, Gyasi Zardes broke the ice and scored from a tight angle to make it 1-0. The Revs kept pressing and eventually tied it on a 79th-minute goal by Chris Tierney. The home side survived a scare when Teal Bunbury took a shot that hit the crossbar just before the game headed to extra time. Match MVP Robbie Keane salted the game away with a goal off a long pass in the 111th minute, and the Galaxy became the first team in MLS history to raise five MLS Cups.
2015: With one hand full of MLS Cup rings, the Galaxy looked to put one on the other hand. It would not be easy as the retirement of Landon Donovan and injuries disrupting any chemistry for the team. As such, the Galaxy would struggle to three wins in their first twelve matches though an 8-2 stretch during the summer helped them in the playoff run, which they qualified for in fifth place at 14-11-9. The Knockout Round would be the end of the line for the Galaxy, losing 3-2 to Seattle Sounders FC.
2016: With several players either contemplating retirement or in the last year of their contracts, the Galaxy felt a sense of urgency to win again. The team would get off to a decent start, posting a 5-1-5 record early on and even went on a four-game unbeaten streak in July. But there was a lack of cohesion amongst the aging players, and it showed in inconsistent play from then on. Landon Donovan came out of retirement to suit back up for the Galaxy in early September for the playoff run and helped the team to a third-place finish at 12-6-16. They would knock off Real Salt Lake in the Knockout Round 3-1 behind two goals from Emmanuel Boateng. But after winning 1-0 in the first leg of the next round against the Rapids at home, they watched Colorado score at home and beat them 3-1 in the penalty shootout. Bruce Arena would be hired to replace Jurgen Klinsmann and return to coach the US National Team.
2017: Even as there was some optimism about the club at the beginning of the year, the Galaxy had to start without Giovanni dos Santos and Gyassi Zardes, who was injured. After winning only two of their first nine matches, the club would go on an eight-game unbeaten run heading into the summer. That’s where the Galaxy would begin a horrendous tailspin as they did not win a game in July or August, which cost Curt Onalfo his job, and Sigi Schmidt took over. It was too late for this year as the club finished dead last in MLS at 8-18-8.
2018: Attempting to bounce back from the MLS cellar, the Galaxy continued to have a tough time, opening up the season with six losses in their first ten matches. In the middle of that tough stretch was the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming over from Manchester United on March 31st. In that game against new in-city rival Los Angeles FC, Ibrahimovic scored two highlight-reel goals to bring the Galaxy back from a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 win. The team would then use a nine-match unbeaten streak in the summer to keep themselves in postseason contention, but it was not to be as they would end up in seventh place at 13-12-9, a point behind Real Salt Lake for the final playoff spot.
2019: With sights set on returning to the playoffs, the Galaxy would get off to a stellar start, winning seven of their first nine matches. Ibrahimovic would once again be the face of the team while reports surfaced of team dysfunction because of it. In addition to injuries, the Galaxy’s in-house frustration seemed to come to a boiling point when Ibrahimovic, who would go on to score 30 goals for the year, made clear during the summer he was likely to move on from MLS at the end of the year. The team did use their hot start to land in the West’s fifth seed with a 16-15-3 record. Traveling to St. Paul, the Galaxy would put away Minnesota United 2-1 to earn a highly anticipated date with Los Angeles FC in the next round. The two teams did not disappoint as the Galaxy scored two goals to tie the game in the second half, answering Carlos Vela’s two. But it wasn’t to be as three more LAFC goals spelled an end to the Galaxy’s season.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Stephen Mulvoy, all information, and team names are property of Major League Soccer. This site is not affiliated with the Los Angeles Galaxy or the MLS. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 23, 2004. Last updated on July 19, 2020, at 11:10 pm ET.