Donovan leads Galaxy against Earthquakes in California Classico

8:12 PM, Aug 30, 2013   |    comments
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Carson, CA (Sports Network) - Three days after committing his foreseeable future to the Los Angeles Galaxy, Landon Donovan leads the second-place Galaxy against their in-state rival San Jose Earthquakes in the California Classico on Saturday at StubHub Center.

Donovan, 31, contemplated retirement prior to the start of the 2013 season, but those thoughts were officially put to rest when he put pen to paper on a multi- year contract extension that will likely see him finish his illustrious career in Major League Soccer.

"I'm thrilled to continue my career here with the LA Galaxy," Donovan said in a statement. "This organization has always treated me with the utmost respect and I feel truly blessed that I am able to continue playing here. The opportunity to play with the team I love and work to win championships, in front of wonderful fans while also being close to my family is literally a dream come true."

Over 13 seasons in MLS, Donovan has amassed 131 goals and 115 assists over 297 games played. He has also racked up 36 game-winning goals. His 131 goals are just four behind Jeff Cunningham for the most in league history.

He has also had an exceptional international career with the United States. He is aiming to make a fourth straight World Cup appearance next summer in Brazil and is the U.S. men's all-time leading goal scorer with 56 tallies over 151 appearances.

In Los Angeles' last league match, it was Donovan who scored the only goal of the match just two minutes in as the Galaxy rode the lone tally and some superb goalkeeping from Jaime Penedo to a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Los Angeles saw themselves tested repeatedly by a desperate Whitecaps FC side that controlled the final possession by a 55.6 to a 44.4 margin. However, LA never buckled as they held their shape defensively and limited Vancouver's clear looks at goal.

"You know this reminds me of [the 2011 season] when we were winning games 1-0. Those games are really important for us, and we used to pride ourselves on winning games 1-0, and tonight we really worked hard as a team," said defender Omar Gonzalez. "Everyone had each others back, and individual moments also were a big key factor with Jaime in goal making a big save for us for us to save three points, so all around I thought it was a great game."

San Jose, meanwhile, is coming off a disappointing 2-2 draw with FC Dallas that saw them cough up a two-goal advantage and settle for a point.

The 'Quakes got started early with goals from Alan Gordon and Steven Beitashour inside the first 20 minutes. But FC Dallas responded immediately with a goal from Blas Perez in the 19th minute.

FCD was then able to level the match in the 69th minute when Perez was taken down by Victor Bernardez and Michel easily converted the spot kick to make it a 2-2 game.

"It was a perfect start. Two goals in the first 20 minutes away from home is as good as it gets," San Jose interim head coach Mark Watson said. "Once the second goal went in the plan was to defend and not concede for that next 10 minutes. We know they're coming right back full of adrenalin and want to get one back. Unfortunately, they did get one, but I thought our guys fought right until the end. I'm just proud of our guys getting a point."

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