Earthquakes 'own' Donovan, L.A.
The San Jose Earthquakes, with the help of two own goals, celebrated the return of Landon Donovan in style with a 3-0 victory against intrastate rivals Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night at Spartan Stadium.
Former Galaxy forward Alejandro Moreno put the Quakes ahead with his fifth goal of the season midway through the first half. Two own goals in a three minute span of the second half -- one from Michael Umana and another from Tyrone Marshall -- clinched the victory, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Much of the pre-game hype centered on the return of Donovan, who was making his first appearance in Spartan Stadium since an offseason move to Los Angeles. While Donovan had his moments in a wide attacking role, he was largely kept in check by a San Jose defense that was superbly marshaled by center backs Danny Califf and Eddie Robinson.
The bad news for the Galaxy began before kickoff when midfielder Peter Vagenas was lost to a right quadriceps strain during the warmup. He was replaced by Ednaldo da Conceicao.
The Quakes created the first chance of the match after just three minutes when midfielder Ricardo Clark tried his luck from 30 yards, forcing Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to touch the ball around his near post.
The Galaxy countered immediately, with Donovan finding da Conceicao in space on the right wing, but the Brazilian's cross was cleared to safety by Quakes' defender Danny Califf.
The half devolved into a midfield scrap with chances -- and space -- scarce. San Jose thought they were close to a breakthrough in 18th minute when a cross-field pass from Mark Chung found Brad Davis open on the left side of the box. Hartman came out to challenge, and when Davis went down, San Jose thought they had won a penalty. But referee Jair Marrufo denied Davis' claim, and duly booked him for diving.
San Jose gradually took control, as they began to find space on the wings, and they nearly broke on top in the 34th minute from just such an attack. Davis picked out Chung with a long pass from the right wing, but the midfielder saw his blast palmed away by Hartman.
It proved a brief respite as San Jose went ahead just three minutes later. A Davis through ball found Ronald Cerritos in space on the right side of the penalty area, and his cross was stabbed home by a sliding Moreno for a San Jose lead.
The Quakes nearly doubled their advantage in the 42nd minute. Chung collected the ball wide on the left, beat the Galaxy's Umana on the dribble but saw his shot hit Hartman's near post.
The Galaxy finally had a response in the 45th minute when Donovan played Guillermo Ramirez through on goal, but Quakes' defender Robinson was on hand to block the resulting shot.
San Jose picked up where it left off to start the second half, when Clark again tested Hartman from long range, but the Galaxy 'keeper punched the shot wide.
The Galaxy then came close to scoring on an amazing sequence in the 55th minute. A corner kick from Donovan was headed back into the center of the box by Umana forcing a frantic goalmouth scramble. Quakes' keeper Pat Onstad saved twice from Jovan Kirovski and once from Todd Dunivant before San Jose finally cleared the ball for good.
L.A. kept the pressure on, and appeared to have another good chance two minutes later when Donovan broke free up the right wing, but Davis recovered to muscle Donovan off the ball and defuse the threat.
The match was effectively killed off when the Galaxy committed two own goals inside of three minutes. The first, in the 65th minute, occurred when a Chung through ball intended for Cerritos was touched past Hartman by Umana to make the score 2-0. The Galaxy's misery was complete in the 68th when an innocuous looking high ball was headed past Hartman by Marshall.
The Galaxy didn't give up, and Donovan forced an alert save from Onstad off a free kick in the 70th minute. But the Quakes kept the match under control thereafter and closed out the victory.
The Galaxy will try to regroup against Eastern Conference leaders New England next weekend, while the Earthquakes will try to run their winning streak to three games this Wednesday against Colorado.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes)
Jeff Carlisle is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Los Angeles Galaxy (7-5-3) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (5-3-6)
June 25, 2005 -- Spartan Stadium
SJ -- Alejandro Moreno 5 (Ronald Cerritos 5, Brad Davis 8) 37
SJ -- own goal (Michael Umana) 65
SJ -- own goal (Tyrone Marshall) 68
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, Tyrone Marshall, Michael Umana, Todd Dunivant, Cobi Jones (Alan Gordon 58), Ednaldo da Conceicao, Paulo Nagamura, Guillermo Ramirez, Landon Donovan, Jovan Kirovski.
Substitutes Not Used: Steve Cronin, Herculez Gomez, Ned Grabavoy, Troy Roberts.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Jovan Kirovski 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jovan Kirovski 3); FOULS: 15 (Paulo Nagamura 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Ednaldo da Conceicao 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Landon Donovan 7); SAVES: 3 (Kevin Hartman 3)
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Kelly Gray, Danny Califf, Eddie Robinson (Ryan Cochrane 86), Wade Barrett, Mark Chung, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis (Ian Russell 79), Ronald Cerritos (Brian Ching 66), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Aloisi, Jon Conway, Wes Hart, Brian Mullan, Julian Nash, Danny O'Rourke.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Mark Chung 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (4 tied with 1); FOULS: 15 (Mark Chung 3); OFFSIDES: 7 (Ronald Cerritos 4); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Ronald Cerritos 5); SAVES: 5 (Pat Onstad 5)
SJ -- Brad Davis (caution; Diving, Exaggeration) 18
LA -- Cobi Jones (caution; Dissent) 25
SJ -- Danny Califf (caution; Tackle from Behind) 69
LA -- Guillermo Ramirez (caution; Pushing, Holding) 76
SJ -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Pushing, Holding) 76
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: -George Gansner; Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Richard Heron
Time of Game: 1:52
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.