Nov. 21, 2011
CARSON, Calif. - Former California goalkeeper Josh Saunders captured his third Major League Soccer championship and former Golden Bear Hector Jimenez won his first when the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, on Nov. 20 in MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center. Saunders made one save to shut out Houston, which featured starting forward Calen Carr, another former Bear.
Saunders completed his Cal career in 2002, while Jimenez finished his Cal career after the Bears' run to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round in 2010. Carr ended his time as a Bear in 2005.
"The whole Cal family is very proud of Josh, Hector and Calen, as they represented our program with great achievement this season," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "For Josh, who has gone through so many years of playing in the USL and being a backup for the L.A. Galaxy, to continue to believe in himself and know that his shining moment as a starter was coming was in inspiration to us all. Certainly this season he was absolutely one of the best goalies in MLS, and leading his team to the title was a fantastic achievement for him."
Drafted into the league by the San Jose Earthquakes, Saunders won his first MLS title as a rookie with San Jose in 2003 and claimed his second as a reserve with the Galaxy in 2005. He almost won again when he replaced injured L.A. starter Donovan Ricketts in the second half of the 2009 final, but Real Salt Lake prevailed in penalty kicks.
Known for producing talented goalkeepers, Cal has four former Bears playing in goal in MLS: Saunders, Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Eric Kronberg (Sporting Kansas City) and David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes).