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Donovan Sets Tone for Galaxy

April 30, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

When Landon Donovan scores, it usually means good news for the Galaxy.

Saturday afternoon was again one of those occasions, as the U.S. national team forward got his first goal of the season for his MLS team in a 3-2 victory over host Real Salt Lake.

"If you lose track of [Donovan], he is going to make you pay," Salt Lake Coach John Ellinger said. " ... With Landon, he can just change a game."

The Galaxy improved to 2-2-1 this season and to 8-2-0 when Donovan scores at least one goal. When Donovan fails to score, the Galaxy is 0-8-2 since he arrived at the beginning of the 2005 season.

"He settles us and finds the right option," Galaxy Coach Steve Sampson said. "Today I think he play-maked better than I have seen him in a long time, and he was very dangerous toward goal at the same time."

Donovan also had an assist on what turned out to be the winning goal by Herculez Gomez in the 61st minute.

Donovan's goal came in the 11th minute and tied the score at 1-1 after Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis had given his team the lead in the sixth minute. Kreis, MLS's all-time leading scorer, got his 102nd career goal.

On his goal, Donovan took the ball away from U.S. teammate Eddie Pope and came in alone on goalkeeper Scott Garlick before shooting inside the left post.

"On the turf ... it took a little bounce up on him and I put my foot out kind of hoping and sure enough," Donovan said. "It just bounced in front of me, and my second touch was good and the finish was fairly easy."

The Galaxy took a 2-1 lead in the 26th minute when Cobi Jones connected on a diving header after a cross by Chris Albright. Donovan started the play by passing to the right wing to free up Albright to make the cross.

Jones started the game on the bench but came on after Peter Vagenas left the field because of an early collision with Douglas Sequeira of Salt Lake.

Galaxy striker Cornell Glen also left the game because of injury when he suffered a strained hamstring in the 40th minute.

Salt Lake (0-4-1) came within 3-2 in the 73rd minute when Atiba Harris scored on a low cross from Kreis, who was ejected in the 89th minute after earning his second yellow card.

Kansas City 1, Columbus 0 -- Josh Wolff scored his first goal of the season, leading the Wizards (4-1-0) over the Crew (1-3-1) at Columbus, Ohio.

Wolff's goal came in the 74th minute off a pass from former Galaxy player Sasha Victorine.

D.C. United 1, FC Dallas 1 -- Ronnie O'Brien scored in the 41st minute to lift Dallas (3-0-2) to a tie with United (3-0-2) in a matchup of MLS's only unbeaten teams at Washington.

Ben Olsen scored his first goal of the season, from 25 yards out, to give D.C. United a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.

Houston 1, Colorado 0 -- Brian Ching scored an unassisted goal in the 16th minute to lead the Dynamo (3-2-0) over the Rapids (1-2-1) at Denver.

Ching, who had four goals against Colorado in a 5-2 season-opening victory, scored on his own rebound after a corner kick by Dwayne De Rosario.

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