LA Galaxy is one of the ten founding teams in Major League Soccer. The name “Galaxy” was derived from Los Angeles being home to the “stars” of Hollywood. The team began competing in the first season of the then-new league, which took place in 1996.
In the inaugural season, Los Angeles finished first in the Western Conference and was one of the two teams that contested in the first MLS Cup. The Galaxy finished as runners up, losing to D.C. United in the final. The 1997 season started out 1–7 after eight games, but they went 15–9 for the rest of the season to qualify for the playoffs. The Galaxy ended up second in their conference by losing to the Dallas Burn. In 1998, the Galaxy left off on a streak, eventually finishing 24–8. The Galaxy defeated the Dallas Burn, 9–3 on aggregate. They lost in the semi-final to the Chicago Fire, 2–1 on aggregate.
MLS Cup 2002 was the seventh edition of the MLS Cup, the championship match of Major League Soccer (MLS), which took place on October 20, 2002. It was hosted at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and contested by the New England Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy to decide the champion of the 2002 season. The Revolution, who were named hosts before the season, were playing in their first MLS Cup; Los Angeles had lost in all three of their previous cup appearances.
Los Angeles won their first championship 1–0 in the second overtime on a sudden-death goal scored by Carlos Ruiz. The match was attended by 61,316 spectators, the largest figure for any MLS Cup until 2018. It was also the last MLS final to end with a golden goal.
MLS Cup 2005 was the 10th edition of the MLS Cup, the championship match of Major League Soccer (MLS). The match took place on November 13, 2005, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, near Dallas, and was contested between the New England Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy. It was a rematch of MLS Cup 2002 and ended in a repeat victory for Los Angeles, who won 1–0 on a goal scored by Guillermo Ramírez in extra time.
New England qualified as the top seed in the Eastern Conference with several players named to the MLS Best XI, while Los Angeles was the lowest-seeded playoff team and had rebuilt its roster in the offseason. Ramírez, who was brought in on loan from CSD Municipal, had scored no goals from open play despite 62 shots but was substituted into the MLS Cup final and scored the winning goal.
MLS Cup 2011, the 16th edition of Major League Soccer’s championship match, was played between the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy to decide the champion of the 2011 season. The match was played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on November 20, 2011. Los Angeles won their third championship, defeating Houston 1–0 of a 72nd-minute goal from Galaxy captain Landon Donovan. David Beckham and Robbie Keane assisted the game’s lone goal. With the win, the Galaxy became the first team since the Columbus Crew in 2008 to win both the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup in the same year.
For Los Angeles, it was a league-record seventh appearance in the MLS Cup final, while it was Houston’s third appearance in the league final. Both the Galaxy and the Dynamo qualified for the 2012–13 CONCACAF Champions League. The Galaxy earned their third successive berth, while the Dynamo earned their third ever berth in the Champions League and their first since the 2009–10 edition.
MLS Cup 2012, the 17th edition of Major League Soccer’s championship match, was a rematch between the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy to decide the champion of the 2012 season. The match was played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on December 1, 2012. Los Angeles defeated Houston 3–1 giving the Galaxy their second-straight league title and their fourth overall.
For the first time in MLS Cup history, the championship was not held at a predetermined neutral site. Instead, the match venue was held in the home stadium of the finalist with the best regular-season record, in this case, The Home Depot Center (Los Angeles), which broke the MLS record for hosting the most MLS Cup matches (5) The game was a rematch of the 2011 MLS Cup, won 1–0 by the Galaxy.
As MLS Cup finalists, both Houston and Los Angeles qualified for the 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League (champion in Pot A, runner-up in Pot B).
MLS Cup 2014 was the 19th edition of the MLS Cup, the match that determined the champion of Major League Soccer’s 2014 season. It is also the last MLS Cup to be held before the league’s rebranding in 2015. The Western Conference Champions LA Galaxy played the Eastern Conference Champions New England Revolution. The match was held at the Galaxy’s home field of the StubHub Center in Carson, California, as the Galaxy were awarded home advantage by finishing the regular season with more points than the Revolution. The Galaxy won 2–1 after Overtime, winning their fifth MLS Cup title and also sending all-time U.S. national team goal-scoring leader Landon Donovan into retirement with his sixth MLS Cup crown.
It was a record sixth time that the MLS Cup was held at the StubHub Center, and the first time in two years that the venue has hosted the MLS Cup. The Galaxy returned to the MLS Cup for the first time since 2012, when they became the third club to win the championship in back-to-back seasons. It was the first time since 2007 that the Revolution reached the MLS Cup final. The two clubs had met twice before in the MLS Cup final: in 2002 and in 2005; the Galaxy defeated New England 1–0 after Overtime in both finals. New England Revolution became the first club to lose five MLS Cups.
Going into the match, the Galaxy had earned a berth into the 2015–16 CONCACAF Champions League regardless of the result; New England could only do so by winning the Cup. Since the Seattle Sounders won both the U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters Shield, the Galaxy had secured a berth into the Champions League as the Supporters Shield runner-up. Had New England won the match, they would have entered as the MLS Cup champion representative. Instead, Real Salt Lake went to the Champions League.
The Galaxy was founded in 1994 and is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group. In their early years, the club played its home games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Since 2003, they have played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The team holds a rivalry with the San Jose Earthquakes in the California Clásico and used to play the SuperClasico against city rivals Chivas USA before that team folded in 2014. A new rival emerged in 2018 in the form of Los Angeles FC in the El Tráfico derby.
1996 – Present / Major League Soccer
1996 – Present / LA Galaxy
Galaxy – The name “Galaxy” was derived from Los Angeles being home to the “stars” of Hollywood.
MLS Cups 5
2014, 2012, 2011, 2005, 2002
2003 – Present / Dignity Health Sports Park
1999 – 2001 / Titan Stadium
1996 – 2002 / Rose Bowl
1998 – Present / Anschutz Entertainment Group
1996 – 1997 / L.A. Soccer Partners, LP
*Blue is this team’s history