Short-handed Quakes set sights on rival Galaxy

Short-handed Quakes set sights on rival Galaxy
August 31, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Former Galaxy player Alan Gordon tallied the winning goal against his old club last time. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: Earthquakes-Galaxy coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet California Plus at 7:30 p.m.

Landon Donovan is eager to show the Los Angeles Galaxy and their fans that he's worth every dollar of his lucrative contract extension.

Before heading off to join the U.S. national team, Donovan will try to lead the Galaxy to a season-high third straight win Saturday night against the short-handed San Jose Earthquakes.

Donovan signed a deal Wednesday that will keep him in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future and could make him one of the highest paid players in the league if he can reach certain incentives. League policy does not allow clubs to release contract terms.

"I'm very happy in the present, but I have a lot more to achieve. This is not a reward for what I've done. This is something I'm going to earn," Donovan said.

He'll try to begin doing so by helping Los Angeles (12-9-4) in a competitive Western Conference race. The Galaxy have a three-point lead for a playoff spot and are just six points ahead of eighth-place San Jose (9-10-7).

Donovan has recorded four goals and an assist since returning from leading the United States to the Gold Cup title. He scored in a 1-0 victory over Vancouver last Saturday but couldn't lead the Galaxy to a win in its only other matchup with the Earthquakes this season.

Los Angeles allowed San Jose to score twice in stoppage time in a 3-2 defeat June 29. Former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon tallied the winning goal.

Gordon had a goal and an assist in the first 16 minutes against FC Dallas last Saturday, but San Jose couldn't hold onto that early 2-0 lead and had to settle for a 2-all draw.

"It's very disappointing for us," Gordon said. "We were in position to get three points, and I think we did enough to win the game."

The point was San Jose's first on the road in five games. The Earthquakes are 1-9-3 away from home but have won their last two road contests against the Galaxy, including one in the playoffs last year.

Los Angeles has won four straight at home and is unbeaten in its last six there.

The Earthquakes have gone 3-0-1 in the past four regular-season matchups in this series and 4-1-1 in their last six games, but they'll have three players suspended for this meeting. Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow are out after receiving red cards against Dallas while Rafael Baca drew an automatic suspension with his fifth yellow card.

"They have a deep enough team where they have guys that can step in," Los Angeles defender Todd Dunivant said. "They're going to be hungry. They always circle our games as the biggest of their year."

Los Angeles' Robbie Keane had two assists against San Jose in June, starting a seven-game stretch in which he's compiled five goals and five assists.

 

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