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Landon Donovan began his long goodbye from professional soccer Friday night, playing a key role in another dominant LA Galaxy performance that, by all rights, should have led to another one-sided romp.
Donovan, Galaxy dominate Quakes, settle for 2-2 draw
08/08/2014
 
Aug 8, 2014; Carson, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski (8) handles the ball defended by Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas (8) during the first half at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan began his long goodbye from professional soccer Friday night, playing a key role in another dominant LA Galaxy performance that, by all rights, should have led to another one-sided romp.


The Galaxy had nearly constant possession and created nearly two dozen legitimate scoring chances, but they settled for a 2-2 draw with California Clasico rival San Jose after conceding twice from first-half counterattacks.


Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez tallied for LA (9-4-7), which held huge advantages in shots (24-3), corner kicks (10-0) and possession (with 69.8 percent) but had to rally twice from deficits. Donovan, who announced Thursday he will retire at season’s end, set up the Galaxy’s first goal with a long run and nearly netted a winner early in the second half.


Chris Wondolowski and debutant Matias Perez Garcia, the Argentine midfielder signed as a Designated Player at the end of July, tallied for the Quakes, who created just two legitimate scoring chances and hit the net both times.


Perez Garcia saw his first MLS action in place of Yannick Djalo, who suffered a quadriceps strain in last week’s win over Seattle. The Galaxy kept the lineup they used in the victories at Seattle and over Portland, and defender Todd Dunivant -- a possibility to play for Galaxy II in their USL Pro game Saturday against Arizona United -- again on the bench.


San Jose twice took leads, both against the run of play, in a wild first 31 minutes marked by nearly constant Galaxy possession. LA strung repeatedly strung together a dozen passes and more, but there was space for the Earthquakes to exploit with the counter, and exploit it they did.


The Quakes took the lead in the 18th minute, after a Marcelo Sarvas shot was blocked atop the Quakes’ box. Sam Cronin quickly played the ball to Shea Salinas on the left, and he connected with Chris Wondolowski to the left of LA’s box.


Wondolowski took the ball to the byline beyond the near post, then cut inside to beat Omar Gonzalez and slotted from a tough angle past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and inside the far post.


The Galaxy equalized through Zardes in the 29th minute, and Perez Garcia restored San Jose’s lead within two minutes.


Donovan had the key run on LA’s goal, streaking through space toward the Quakes’ box, then sending the ball to Keane on the left. The Irishman took it into the box and fired, the ball ricocheted off Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi and fell to Zardes, who slotted it between two defenders and past goalkeeper Jon Busch.


San Jose tallied on another counter to go ahead again in the 31st, with Atiba Harris taking a feed from Salinas, carrying the ball forward, then sending a pass toward the top of LA’s box. Wondolowski, ahead of the ball, got a slight back-heel touch, and Garcia Perez hit it first time with his left foot, drilling the ball off a diving Penedo and into the ceiling of the goal.


The Galaxy continued to dominate play and found an equalizer just four minutes into the second half, with Gonzalez sharply heading a Stefan Ishizaki corner kick between Busch and Salinas, who was guarding the right post.


Donovan almost gave LA the lead three minutes after, but Jon Busch dived to his right to corral the shot from the left side of San Jose’s box. The Galaxy continued to push for a winner the rest of the way but couldn’t beat Busch.


San Jose lost center back Victor Bernardez to an undisclosed injury in the 67th minute.

 
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