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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees give 3B Chase Headley extension, raise more questions about Alex Rodriguez’s future

12.16.14 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Predators, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Warriors at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: North Carolina at UNC-Greensboro, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oral Roberts at Oklahoma, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Alabama at Wichita State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona State at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Club World Cup semifinal, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Chase Headley

Chase Headley

The Yankees agreed with Chase Headley on a reported four-year, $52 million deal, and in the process sent a message to Alex Rodriguez: third base is taken.

While A-Rod has expressed a desire to win back his old position after being suspended for the 2013 season, Headley said Monday that the team told him the job is his.

“That was a discussion that we had early on,” Headley said in a conference call. “I feel like the best position on the field for me is third base. That’s where I offer the most to a club. So it was important to me. That was something that was resolved fairly quickly.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hinted earlier this offseason that he wasn’t planning on the oft-injured, 39-year-old Rodriguez being the starting third baseman. Neither Cashman nor Rodriguez spoke publicly Monday.

Headley hit .250 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs last season. He was traded during the season from San Diego, where he finished fifth in NL MVP voting in 2012 after hitting .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBIs and winning a Gold Glove.

He said he believes he can coexist with A-Rod.

“I played against him earlier in my career and said hello to him, and he said hello to me,” Headley said. “I’m looking forward to the chance o playing with Alex, to be honest. He’s a tremendous player, and I don’t see there being any friction, especially coming from my side.”

— Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar weighed in on the Johnny Manziel situation, blaming the team’s problems on the front office.

“It is somewhat of a tough spot for Johnny given this team and given this organization,” Kosar said in an interview with Cleveland’s WTAM 1100 (via Cleveland.com). “It’s just a complete recipe for a disaster.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, alex rodriguez, Bernie Kosar, Brian Hoyer

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant moves past Michael Jordan into third place on NBA’s scoring list

12.15.14 at 7:44 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Elon at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
NFL: Saints at Bears, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NHL: Lightning at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Queens Park at Everton, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kobe Bryant provided the Lakers with a rare positive moment during a miserable season, as he moved past Michael Jordan for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list during Sunday’s victory over the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

Bryant, who began the night eight points behind Jordan, hit two free throws in the second quarter to tie and pass the Bulls legend. He finished with 26 points to give him 32,310 and now ranks behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).

The game was stopped briefly so that Bryant could receive the ball from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor along with congratulations from players and coaches from both teams.

“I’m just honored to be here, man, to still be playing,” said Bryant, who made his NBA debut as an 18-year-old in 1996, going scoreless in six minutes against the Timberwolves. “I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don’t last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.”

Said Jordan in a statement: “I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone. He’s obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”

Penguins star Sydney Crosby became the latest NHL player to be diagnosed with the mumps, as the two-time MVP was held out of his team’s two weekend games.

Crosby developed swelling on the right side of his face, and when his condition worsened Friday he was sent to the hospital, where the diagnosis was made. He was kept in isolation through the weekend and was expected to be through the infectious stage by Monday, although the Pens ruled him out of Monday’s game against the Lightning.

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Read More: Jakeli Lenard Mitchell, kobe bryant, Michael Jordan, Sydney Crosby

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant goes off on ‘soft’ Lakers teammates

12.12.14 at 8:05 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Traill Blazers at Bulls, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: FCS quarterfinals, Chattanooga at New Hampshire, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Lakers are not good, and the frustration is showing. Kobe Bryant, who does not always practice with the team, was there Thursday, and he was even more intense than he normally is.

He trash-talked with Nick Young and Jeremy Lin, then he lashed out at the reserves as the starters crushed them in a scrimmage.

“Now I see why we’ve lost so many games,” Bryant said. “We’re soft like Charmin!”

Shortly thereafter, Bryant stormed off the practice court, yelling at general manager Mitch Kupchak that he wasn’t getting challenged enough. Said Bryant, “These [expletives] aren’t doing [expletive] for me.”

When he met with reporters a little later, he was back in control.

“I was just being myself,” he said. “I don’€™t get a chance to really get out there and play too much because of my body and stuff. I don’€™t know if it helps them. It obviously raises the intensity level. It was a tough practice for them.”

Bryant said his “soft” comment was meant to see if his teammates would respond.

“I just challenge guys, see what happens,” he said. “I’ve always believed in throwing them in the pool and then seeing if they can sink or swim.”

Derek Jeter participated in a Q& with Harold Reynolds at Hamilton College in upstate New York, and the recently retired Yankees shortstop offered some tips on how to avoid bad press.

“There’€™s two things you can always say to the media. One is, you have no comment. There’€™s no follow-up to that,’€ Jeter said. “The second thing I think most people get in trouble with, they’€™re afraid to say, ‘€˜I don’€™t know.’€™ If you ask me a question and I say, ‘€˜I don’€™t know,’€™ how are you going to follow it up?”

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Read More: Derek Jeter, kobe bryant,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Carmelo Anthony downplays reports of rift on Knicks

12.11.14 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Blackhawks at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Cavalier at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Rockets at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Maine at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
NFL: Cardinals at Rams, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Tottenham at Besiktas, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Krasnodar at Everton, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

— The Knicks’ losing ways continued Wednesday night, but much of the talk was about a report that star forward Carmelo Anthony and guard Tim Hardaway Jr. nearly came to blows following last Tuesday’s loss to the Nets after an on-court argument.

ESPN also reported that multiple players confronted Anthony about his shot selection, “telling him he shoots too much, doesn’t move or pass the ball and only plays defense when he feels like it.”

Anthony, who sat out Wednesday’s loss to the Spurs to rest his sore knee, acknowledged having a players-only meeting Saturday, but he insisted it was “very positive.”

“We felt like guys were holding things back they needed to say or get out and we had that meeting. Everybody had a platform to say how they felt about what was going on,” Anthony said (via the New York Daily News). “At this point, man, I try to just stay positive. I’€™m not a guy who, when darts are being thrown at me from anonymous sources, I will not allow myself to throw those darts back at my teammates. The best thing I can do is to be there for them, even when and if they’€™re feeling any kind of way about me personally, I have to be there. And I do that.”

Hardaway confirmed that he and Anthony argued during last Tuesday’s game, but he told reporters it was a “heat in the moment type of deal.”

“Everybody in this locker room is treated as brothers,” Hardaway said. “We’re a family and we’ve moved on.”

— It’s clear that Jets owner Woody Johnson will make some changes after a miserable season. The question is how many changes will he make?

“It’€™s safe to say you’ve got to do things differently that you did to get you to this point,” Johnson told the New York Daily News. “The thing about football is that after every season, everybody is up for grabs. You take a look at everything. You’€™re trying to get to the Super Bowl. It doesn’€™t sound like I should even be saying that at this point. But that’€™s what my goal is. That’€™s what the fans want. They want to have a clear direction in terms of how they get to where they want to go. I have to give them confidence they are going to have a chance to get where they want to go.”

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Read More: Andrew Heaney, Carmelo Anthony, John Idzik, Rex Ryan

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Magic Johnson endorses tanking, ‘I hope the Lakers lose every game’

12.10.14 at 7:43 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Hornets, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pelicans at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Heat at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Columbia at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: High Point at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Milwaukee, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Utah at BYU 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Washington State at Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at Roma, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Magic Johnson, who helped build the Lakers into a dynasty, threw his support behind his old team to tank the season.

The Hall of Famer, speaking at an event in New York City, encouraged his club to lose for the sake of getting a high draft pick.

“I hope the Lakers lose every game,” he said. “Because if you’re going to lose, lose. I’m serious.”

The Lakers, who improved to 6-16 with Tuesday night’s win over the Kings, are coming off the worst season in modern franchise history in 2013-14 when they went 27-55. That netted them the seventh overall draft pick, which they used on Julius Randle.

“If you’re going to lose, you have to lose because you can’t be in the middle of the pack,” Johnson said. “You either have to be great or you have to be bad to get a good pick. … I’d rather be all the way bad than be in the middle.”

Lakers coach Byron Scott, who played alongside Johnson in the 1980s, dismissed the comment.

“That’s easy to say, but when you’re behind the scenes and you’re in the trenches and you’re coaching, that’s not something that you want to do,” Scott said. “We’ve got to go out here and win every game possible. I mean, if you lose games, that’s one thing. But to go out and try to lose, that’s a different story. I think that sends a message to those guys in there that it’s going back to that losing mentality. We don’t we want to create that here.”

Dennis Rodman can’t understand the Knicks’ struggles learning the triangle offense that Phil Jackson brought to New York.

Rodman, who played for Jackson with the Bulls and Lakers, explained at an event in New York City: “I learned that in probably 15 minutes when I was in Chicago. It’s not that difficult. It’s a triangle.

“Everybody has an opportunity to touch the ball and shoot it. It seems like it goes back to Carmelo Anthony and then everything stops. What are you going to do?”

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Read More: byron scott, Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Rodman, Magic Johnson

Report: Cam Newton involved in car accident

12.09.14 at 1:39 pm ET
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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was involved in a car accident this afternoon outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was reportedly alert, conscious and able to respond after accident with there being a picture of him smiling before being transported to the hospital in an ambulance.


Read More: Cam Newton,

Marvin Lewis refers to Johnny Manziel as a ‘midget’

12.09.14 at 10:16 am ET
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Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis was asked on WLW-AM in Cincinnati about what it would be like to face rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel when the Bengals take on the Browns Sunday. Lewis gave a rather interesting response.

“You gotta go defend the offense. You don’t defend the player,” Lewis said before adding, “Particularly a midget.”

Lewis did later apologize for the comment.

“I apologize to Johnny, the Browns and all the fans in Cleveland,” Lewis said. “It was just a poor remark. I really didn’t mean anything by it.”

The Browns will host the Bengals Sunday at 1 p.m., which is reportedly going to be Manziel’s first career NFL start.

Read More: Johnny Manziel, Marvin Lewis,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Wizards G John Wall emotional about 6-year-old’s death following win over Celtics

12.09.14 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Kings at Sabres, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Wichita State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Missouri-Kansas City at Iowa State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: IUPUI at Xavier, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Indiana vs. Louisville, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Iowa, 9 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Eastern Michigan at Michigan, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Dakota at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Basel at Liverpool, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— After leading the Wizards to a 133-132 double-overtime victory over the Celtics, Washington guard John Wall struggled to keep his composure as he talked about dedicating the game to Damiyah “Miyah” Telemaque-Nelson, a 6-year-old who died Monday after losing her battle with cancer.

Wall, who finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds and scored his team’s final 10 points as the Wizards rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second OT, met Miyah last March and became close to her as she was being treated for Burkitt’s lymphoma. A moment of silence was held before the game, and Wall wrote “RIP Miyah” on his sneakers.

“This was an emotional game for me,” Wall said in an on-court interview with CSN Washington right after the game. “This is for Miyah, one of my close friends that I lost, that I met last year. It’s just tough for me, to see a little kid that fights so hard for cancer and can’t beat it. This game’s for her. All my jersey, my shorts, I’m going to give it to her family.

“It’s a tough day for me. I really cried today.”

Asked if Miyah really touched his heart, Wall could not respond, bending over while he cried.

Wrote Wall on Twitter later: If you were blessed to meet and get to know Miyah you know how special of a little girl she was. I’m saddened by the news but I know that she’s in a better place. Keep her family in your prayers. I’ll definitely miss my buddy. Rest In Peace Miyah.

LeBron James followed through on his suggestion that he would wear an “I can’t breathe” T-shirt, donning the Eric Garner protest shirt during pregame warmups before his Cavaliers played the Nets in Brooklyn. He was joined by teammate Kyrie Irving and four Nets, including Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams.

“It was a message to the family. That I’m sorry for their loss, sorry to his wife. That’s what it’s about,” James said of the New York City man who died July 17 after police placed him in a chokehold. “I think everybody else gets caught up in everything else besides who’s really feeling it, and that’s the family. That’s what it’s about.”

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Read More: Derrick Rose, Eric Berry, John Wall, LeBron James

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Lions RB Reggie Bush, other NFL players wear ‘I can’t breathe’ shirts

12.08.14 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Wizards, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nuggets at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Kennesaw State at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: IUPUI-Fort Wayne at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UC Santa Barbara at SMU, 8 pm. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Brown at Providence, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: North Dakota at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NFL: Falcons at Packers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Manchester United at Southampton, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— One week after a handful of Rams players gained national attention by making the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture before their game, Lions running back Reggie Bush went through pregame warmups wearing a shirt with the words “I can’t breathe” written on it — a reference to the last words of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after being placed in a chokehold by police.

“I’ve always been the kid who is reserved and stays out of stuff like that, but I just felt like these last couple weeks, I’ve been really upset about what’s happening from a police standpoint,” Bush said after the game (via MLive.com). “I don’t know all the details or facts with the Ferguson issue, or the Eric Garner issue, but I know there’s some form of injustice that’s going on. And it really affected me.”

Bush, the son of a longtime San Diego police officer, was one of at least three NFL to wear a shirt with Garner’s words Sunday. The night before, NBA star Derrick Rose wore a similar shirt in pregame warmups before his Bulls played Saturday night. And Washington defensive tackle Chris Baker did the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture after a sack Sunday.

Bush has the support of his coach, Jim Caldwell.

“I grew up in the ’60s, where everybody was socially conscious,” Caldwell said. “I believe in it. I would be a hypocrite if I stood up here and told you any differently. More than likely, some of those protests that Dr. King and some of the others took part in, non-violent protests, is the reason why I am standing here in front of you today. So absolutely, no question about it. I don’t mind it.”

— Meanwhile, LeBron James indicated Sunday he is interested in wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt before one of his team’s upcoming games. His next game is Monday in Brooklyn against the Nets. However, Britain’s Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton are scheduled to attend that game, and James said is looking forward to appearing before the Royal Couple.

“It’s an honor,” James said Sunday. “It’s a huge honor. The stuff that you read about, people like them are only in books growing up. And to hear that they’re coming to town to see me play and they want to see me do what I do best, it’s a huge honor.”

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Read More: Eric Garner, Geno Smith, LeBron James, Prince William

Revolution fall to LA Galaxy in extra time in MLS Cup

12.07.14 at 6:08 pm ET
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Landon Donovan (left) and the Galaxy beat Jermaine Jones and the Revolution, 2-1, in the MLS Cup. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Landon Donovan (left) and the Galaxy beat Jermaine Jones and the Revolution, 2-1, in the MLS Cup. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

For the fifth time, the Revolution reached the MLS Cup. And for the fifth time, they suffered a heartbreaking loss in the title game. The Revolution took the LA Galaxy to extra time, just as they did when they faced the Galaxy in the MLS Cup in 2002 and 2005, but it was the Galaxy who came away with the 2-1 win to capture their league-leading fifth championship.

The Galaxy scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 111th minute. Robbie Keane, this year’€™s MLS MVP, got behind the New England defense, took a long pass from Marcelo Sarvas and beat Revs keeper Bobby Shuttleworth with a nice finish.

The Revs had a great chance to take the lead earlier in extra time. In the 103rd minute, Patrick Mullins made a good run before firing from deep inside the box, but Galaxy keeper Jaime Penedo made a great diving save to keep the game tied.

Mullins had another chance in the 116th minute with the Revs looking to tie the game, but Penedo covered up his low, hard shot. The Revs were able to get a few more balls into the box in the final minutes, but they couldn’€™t find the tying tally.

With the Revs trailing 1-0 late in regulation, it was Chris Tierney, who has been with the team since 2008, who came up with the big equalizer in the 79th minute. Mullins, who had come on as a sub just a few minutes earlier, made a deep run down the left side before setting up Tierney in the box, and Tierney finished the chance by beating Penedo five-hole.

The Revs nearly took the lead in the 85th minute. Lee Nguyen made a nice pass over to Teal Bunbury on the left side of the box, and Bunbury chipped a shot over Penedo that wound up hitting the crossbar. Nguyen, who scored a team-high 18 goals in the regular season, started cramping after that play and wound up having to leave the game a few minutes later.

The Galaxy had taken the 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute. Stefan Ishizaki sent a pass into the box for Gyasi Zardes, and Zardes out-muscled Revs defender Andrew Farrell before beating Shuttleworth with a shot inside the far post.

A minute before that, the Revs had the first good chance of the second half when Nguyen made a run into the box, but LA’€™s Juninho stole the ball away before Nguyen could get off a shot.

The 70th minute featured an exciting back-and-forth with both teams getting good chances. First it was Keane making a long run for LA, only to be denied by a nice kick save from Shuttleworth. The Revs went right back the other way and Kelyn Rowe ended up with a decent look from just inside the box, but his shot sailed wide right.

The Galaxy had the better looks early in the game and nearly scored in the second minute of the game. Robbie Rogers made a run into the middle of the box and put a ball off the Revs’€™ Scott Caldwell that appeared to be on its way in, but Caldwell recovered just in time to clear it off the line.

Keane had a couple looks in the first half as well. He drilled a shot right at Shuttleworth in the 21st minute and had a run into the box broken up on a nice defensive play by Jose Goncalves in the 34th minute.

The Revs were able to gain more possession as the first half went on, but it didn’€™t translate to any really great chances. Their best look of the first half came in the 23rd minute when Charlie Davies, who had four goals in four playoff games going in, made a nice run in transition, but A.J. DeLaGarza — the last defender between Davies and the LA keeper — made a nice breakup before Davies could get off a shot.

In addition to the three extra time losses to LA in the MLS Cup, the Revolution also lost in the MLS Cup in 2006 (on penalty kicks) and 2007 against the Houston Dynamo.

The game was the last in the long career of U.S. legend Landon Donovan, who goes out a champion.