MLS Final 2022 – A Final to Remember

MLS final to remember

If you were watching the MLS final between Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union you got to see a final for the ages.

The game was back and forth and ended 2-2 at full time to force overtime.  But don’t overlook the 2-2 tie as a necessary ending because the teams parked the bus in the last 15 or 20 minutes.

LAFC went up 2-1 in the 83′ minute with a goal from their defender Jesus Murillo!  Game over right?  Time is almost up, Philadelphia must be ready to give up?

Not on this day, Philadelphia wasn’t ready to let this game go.  So they answered in the 85′ minute with a goal from their defender Big Jack Elliot!

Two goals in less than 5 minutes all right before the referees’ extra time is added.  Both goals by defenders!

So to extra time they must go.  This is the Finals and there are no ties in finals, there is a winner and a loser.

In extra time LAFC decides to sub in their super star Garreth Bale in the 97′ minute.  The crowd loves it, but everything seems to be in Philadelphia’s favor.  They are getting a lot of chances in the final third but just can’t find the net.

So they end up going into overtime.

Again Philadelphia comes out and are getting a lot of chances in the final third.

Then the unthinkable, LAFC’s goalie, Maxime Crepeau comes out to defend a through ball breakaway and collides with Philadelphia Union striker Cody Burke.  Both players are shook up and Maxime has broken his leg.  And to add insult to injury, Maxime is awarded a red card for the challenge on the last man.  This was the correct call and one that had to be made, but with minutes left in double overtime, and now LAFC is a man down and bringing in their backup goalie, can anything go right for LAFC?

At this point both teams have fought a hard game, and now one team is down a man.  Surely, if this game does not go to penalties whoever scores first is going home a champion.

Then it happens in the 120′ + 4′ minutes, Big Jack Elliot gets his second goal of the game!  The defender has done it again and surely now, has just won the MLS Championship.

But, due to the injury to Maxime there are a few more minutes added by the referee.

But this has to be it?  LAFC are down a man and all the Philadelphia need to do is play safe and they have won it.  While sitting watching the game this seems to be the obvious ending.  The clock is getting closer to the end and LAFC has one last chance.

LAFC’s winger Palacio is taking it toward the end line and it looks as if the ball is going to cross the end line, but at the last second he manages to get his left foot around the ball and cross it back toward the 6 yard box, to the on coming head of Garreth Bale.  But defending Garreth Bale is Big Jack Elliot, the 6’6 defender who has just put his team ahead in overtime with his second goal of the game.

Can Jack’s 6’6 frame and strength in the air stop the last ditch effort by Bale?  I think not, Bale collides in the air with Elliot but manages to get his head on the ball and stuff it in the back of the net!

Bale has scored with seconds left to force the game to penalties.

And yes folks, this was not the end of this written for Hollywood story.  It actually gets better…

LAFC’s back up goalie, McCarthy who subbed in during overtime, doesn’t have to save the first penalty shot due to a miss.  And then makes two saves in a row to win the Championship for LAFC!  With Philadelphia missing their first 3 shot attempts LAFC just needs one goal out of the two shots they have left and they get the first.

LAFC wins the MLS Championship.

You couldn’t script this one any better!  Thanks to LAFC and the Philadelphia Union for an MLS final that may never be matched!