Oct. 23, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio --- Coach Frank Yallop knew the San Jose Earthquakes could be champions by adding some new players and getting the rest of the team to forget about the past.
It worked as the Earthquakes completed a worst-to-first turnaround with Sunday's 2-1 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup.
"From Day One we talked about this being our year," Yallop said. "We just had to get guys to believe it."
Dwayne DeRosario believed -- in part because Yallop believed in him.
"Coming from the A-League I would like to thank Frank for giving me the opportunity," said DeRosario, who scored six minutes into overtime to give San Jose its first MLS title.
DeRosario, a substitute who came in with five minutes left in regulation, dribbled around Danny Califf and sent a hard shot from 16 yards out which goalkeeper Kevin Hartman got a hand on but couldn't push past the far post. Ronnie Ekelund and Zak Ibsen assisted on the goal.
"In a cup final you have to be mentally ready above everything," said DeRosario, a Canadian national team member who was allocated to San Jose at the start of the season. "He thought I was going near post so I pulled it back over and saw an opening and decided to take it."
Last season, the Earthquakes were 7-17-8, the poorest record in the league. This season, they went 13-7-6, finishing second to Los Angeles in the Western Division.
Yallop credits acquiring U.S. national team star Jeff Agoos and teen sensation Landon Donovan for his team's success.
"He is probably the most consistent American player," Yallop said of Agoos, the league's defender of the year. "I felt our defense has been dominant all year and we didn't get challenged that much today."
The Galaxy, who have never won the championship, also lost in the MLS Cup in 1996 and 1999.
"Everybody loves to beat Los Angeles. It's the national pastime in every sport," Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said. "This one hurts more than 1999 because we've had a lot of obstacles that we went through behind the scenes that nobody knows about.
"We've worked to be a team that wins big games, obviously today it just didn't go that way," Schmid said.
After an evenly played first half, San Jose dominated the second half, outshooting Los Angeles 12-3.
The Earthquakes had four chances to score in the first 10 minutes of the second half, including a bending shot by Agoos from just outside the penalty area in the 49th minute which hit the post.
The Galaxy's Luis Hernandez opened the scoring in the 21st minute by outracing Agoos to a long pass from Greg Vanney. Hernandez put a shot from 10 yards out past the onrushing Joe Cannon.
San Jose tied the game two minutes before halftime. Ian Russell sent a pass from the corner to Donovan, who volleyed a shot past Hartman. Richard Mulrooney also assisted.
"It took a glorious bounce and when I hit it, I just knew it was going in," Donovan said.
Simon Elliott had a chance to win the game with 19 minutes left in regulation, but his shot went over the crossbar.
"I thought it was a well-played game from both sides but San Jose has had our number all year beating us twice in the regular season," said Paul Caligiuri, who retired from the league after the game.
The Earthquakes were without Manny Lagos (right hamstring), who scored three goals and had two assists in five playoff games.