The MLS Cup Final between Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union had a little bit of everything. It featured a backup goalkeeper for LAFC thrust into the spotlight in extra time, an equalizer from LAFC veteran Gareth Bale at the death to force a penalty shootout, and then that backup keeper, John McCarthy stopping two penalties in the shootout to help LAFC to the victory.
It also featured an epic celebration from LAFC co-owner Will Ferrell.
The actor, who is part of the ownership group along with former NBA star Magic Johnson, was on hand for the game, and could be seen posing for photos with Johnson and other stars who were in attendance, such as singer Justin Bieber.
Philadelphia led 3-2 in extra time, after Jack Elliott pushed a rebound past McCarthy in the 124th minute. But that set the stage for Bale’s heroics. In the 128th minute, Bale put a header past Union goalie Andre Blake:
The equalizer sent Banc of California stadium into a frenzy, setting the stage for the shootout. McCarthy stopped two of the three shots he faced, and with the first Union attempt from Dániel Gazdag flying off the mark, LAFC had a chance to win the title when midfielder Ilie Sanchez stepped to the spot:
You can watch the entire shoutout here:
The win touched off the celebration, which included Ferrell drinking beer out of the MLS Cup itself:
In the locker room, Ferrell posed with Bale, one of the many heroes of the hour:
After celebrating along with the team as well, Johnson took to Twitter to thank the supporters, and highlight all the success he has enjoyed as a player, and an owner:
God has really blessed me! 10 NBA Championships (5 as a player and 5 as an owner), a World Series ring with the Dodgers, a WNBA Championship with the Sparks and now an MLS Championship with LAFC….what’s next??? pic.twitter.com/NWzITqLGvG
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 6, 2022
Unfortunately, the match had to see a losing side, and that was Philadelphia. The loss by the Union was the first half of a tough day for the City of Brotherly Love, as Philadelphia became the first city to lose two major sports championships in the same day. That fate was sealed later in the night when the Phillies lost the World Series to the Houston Astros.