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News » Monson: RSL flips the script to beat the big stars

Monson: RSL flips the script to beat the big stars

Monson: RSL flips the script to beat the big stars Seattle

In the 41st minute, a fellow named Beckham and another fellow named Donovan assisted a fellow named Magee, who easily scored a goal for the team from Los Angeles.

In the 64th minute, a guy named Findley left-footed a loose ball into the goal to tie it for the team from ... somewhere out yonder.

Then, after a long futbol fight ensued, something berserk happened.

The little guys outscored the famous favorites in a PK shootout.

Robbie Russell nailed a ball past L.A. goalkeeper Josh Saunders to finish a 1-1 tie -- 5-4 in the shootout -- that stubbornly would not be finished, not until the fates finally acquiesced.

Directly thereafter, the RSL players dogpiled like a bunch of 10-year-olds in front of the net, celebrating a shocking title.

"All you hear is Beckham this and Donovan that," RSL's Robbie Findley said afterward. "But, here, we have a team."

Others already have noted the nature of Sunday night's championship of American soccer: Huge Names vs. Who's This?

Well. Real Salt Lake has a well-known name now: Real Deal.

"We're walking away with the Cup," Findley said.

But this was bigger than just that.

Bigger than soccer. Bigger than one game. Bigger than a shootout.

This was breaking a curse.

The whole result ruptured a script written in the ... uh, Galaxy, written out in the highest of heavens. Whenever a pro team from Utah plays for a title, it has to do something it can't: beat a bunch of rock stars.

First, the Jazz made it all the way to the NBA Finals, twice, and who blocked their path to glory? The best player to ever play.

Anybody who watched all that up close knows that the Jazz facing the Bulls was like the Jazz facing the Rolling Stones.

It was a zoo, with all the attention falling on Michael and the boys.

Same thing here with Real Salt Lake taking on the ... Beatles.

Beating the Beatles.

RSL, frankly, was soccer's version of the Washington Generals on Sunday night in the MLS Cup final.

And the Generals finally won.

Nobody expected this.

That's what happens when you're up against David Beckham, another No. 23, the most famous soccer player on the planet, and Landon Donovan, the most famous player from the United States.

Notable that Donovan was one of the Galaxy players who missed in the shootout.

The press area at Qwest Field was full up, not just with reporters covering the L.A. Galaxy and RSL, not just with writers from Los Angeles, Seattle and Salt Lake City, but rather with media folks from London and Liverpool and Leeds and Leicester, and a lot of other places.

This MLS Championship was beyond national. It was international, thanks, in large part, to the celestials in and on the Galaxy. All of which created a big-as-the-universe atmosphere here, and, therefore, a huge opportunity for the lesser-knowns from Real.

"We aspire to be like the Jazz , the summer complement to the Jazz ," RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey had said.

But they weren't anything like the Jazz against ... You-Know-Who.

They were actual champs, the last ones standing.

"Playing against David Beckham makes this game more relevant," Lagerwey said. "The world is watching. It pushes us into soccer's consciousness."

Not quite. What really pushed RSL into the glare of the game's brightest lights was beating Beckham and Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy.

And that's exactly what Real did, snatching the MLS Cup straight away from the famous, handing it to themselves, rewriting a script that already had been written.

"It's amazing," Russell said. "We did what we thought we could."

GORDON MONSON hosts the "Monson and Graham Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 1280 AM The Zone. He can be reached at .

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 24, 2009


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