Galaxy Advance to West Finals

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — David Beckham says he’s having the most enjoyable season of his five with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The only thing that would make it better is a championship.

The Galaxy moved one step closer to making that a reality Thursday night, when Landon Donovan scored on a penalty kick in the 74th minute and Los Angeles beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 to advance to the Western Conference final.

The Galaxy will be will appearing in their third consecutive conference final after winning the two-game series with a 3-1 aggregate goal total, including their 1-0 win in Harrison, N.J., on Sunday.

“I haven’t even thought about what’s next after this,” said Beckham, whose contract with the Galaxy is expiring. “Right now, I’m just thinking about the moment and winning a championship.”

The Supporters’ Shield winners have a quick turnaround, facing Real Salt Lake on Sunday in a rematch of the 2009 MLS Cup. Los Angeles has the benefit of hosting the match at Home Depot Center, where they are unbeaten this season (13-0-5).

Entering Thursday’s game, Los Angeles needed a win or a draw to move on. Luke Rodgers quickly made things interesting by putting the Red Bulls ahead less than 4 minutes in, tying the aggregate at 1-1.

“I thought it was one of those games where we were going to score a lot of goals,” Rodgers said. “We should have won that game tonight. But it wasn’t meant to be.”

Mike Magee scored for the Galaxy in the 42nd minute on a header off Beckham’s corner kick. It was Magee’s second goal in as many games after he scored the winner in the first leg of the series.

Beckham took a hard fall onto his back during an attempted header midway through the opening half. He went to the ground on a couple of occasions in visible pain and later came off the field as trainers checked on him.