2014 MLS Cup is Donovan’s Last Game
The 2014 MLS Cup will be taking place this Sunday afternoon at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles. The New England Revolution will be trekking across the country to face the Los Angeles Galaxy in this winner-takes-all matchup.
Currently, the average ticket price of MLS Cup tickets is $225 which is down 35.5% from last year’s final between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake. The cheapest tickets available start at $114.
This will be the final game of Landon Donovan’s illustrious soccer career. He announced his retirement a few months ago and has stated he wanted to finish his career as a champion and he will get that opportunity this Sunday. The Galaxy defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on the aggregate (they scored one away goal compared to Seattle scoring zero away goals which is the tiebreaker) in the Western Conference Finals last week. They finished behind the Sounders during the regular season, finishing with 61 points and 17 wins in 34 games.
Donovan is arguably one of the most well-known American soccer players in the history of the sport in the United States so losing him to retirement means there’s an opportunity for new players to gain some mainstream attention. The Revolution have plenty of players who fit that bill, including forward Jermaine Jones. Jones infamously scored a crucial goal against Portugal in the World Cup and after the world competition, joined the Revolution. Similar to the Galaxy, New England finished with 17 wins in 34 games, but just 55 points and a second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They defeated the New York Red Bulls 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals, winning the first leg on the road 2-1. They’ll need a similar type of road presence if they want to take home the Cup.
One of the more interesting stories surrounding the MLS Cup is the travel plans of Revolution owner Robert Kraft. Also the owner of the New England Patriots, Kraft is expected to attend both the MLS Cup and the Patriots-Chargers game taking place Sunday night. The MLS Cup will take place at 12pm PST with the Patriots meeting the Chargers five and a half hours later in San Diego. The 9-3 Patriots are coming off a loss to the Green Bay Packers, while the 8-4 Chargers beat the Baltimore Ravens on the road last year. San Diego is currently occupying the 5th spot in the AFC postseason as the top Wildcard team. A win this week could be huge in getting them in position to potentially take the division.
As a point of comparison, Patriots vs. Chargers tickets have a get-in price of $320, more than $200 higher than the get-in price for the MLS Cup and almost $100 higher than the average price for MLS Cup tickets. It’s pretty remarkable how the San Diego Chargers, a team notorious for having difficulty selling out games over the past few years, have such a significantly high-priced ticket this week than the final game of the MLS season.
Nonetheless, this is Major League Soccer’s biggest game and it has some of the sport’s biggest stars. The question now is who is going to be able to hoist the Cup come Sunday afternoon.