SPORTS> North America
Galaxy soar from worst to first
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-27 11:46

LOS ANGELES: David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy will have a home field playoff edge all the way to the Major League Soccer final after winning the club's first Western Conference crown since 2002.

The Galaxy had failed to make the playoffs in the previous two seasons since the English star midfielder arrived in the US league in 2007, finishing with the worst record in MLS last season.

But Beckham, expected to return to AC Milan after the Galaxy's title quest concludes next month, was adamant the job is not over despite the club's rise from the worst record in MLS last year to the West title.

"It's nice to be on top but we don't stop here," Beckham said. "There is still a lot of work to be done but I'm happy with the position we're in."

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The MLS regular season concluded on Sunday, a day after the Galaxy's 2-0 home victory over San Jose to finish 12-6 with 12 drawn for 48 points. They won the West crown on a head-to-head tie breaker over the Houston Dynamo.

"We wanted to finish off on a high, especially in front of our fans and we did do that," Beckham said.

"It was important we won the game to be on top in our division. We've played better in games and we've passed the ball better in games but we won the game."

Houston's 3-2 victory on Sunday over Chivas USA set the West playoff pairings, with the Galaxy to face city rival Chivas in the first playoff round.

The clubs share the same home stadium so Galaxy would play only one match away from their home pitch before the championship match if they get so far. The Chivas-Galaxy winner will meet Houston or Seattle for a berth in the MLS final.

Beckham scored two goals on 19 shots and set up three other Galaxy goals this season while playing in only 11 games. US star Landon Donovan led the Galaxy with 12 goals in 25 games.

The last time the Galaxy won the West title it was an omen of a first MLS playoff crown in 2002. The Galaxy also won the MLS Cup final in 2005 but have not made a playoff appearance since.