CARSON, Calif. – It was the day after his own version of “The Decision” -- with apologies to LeBron James -- and the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan was feeling a little frustrated.
It wasn’t so much from announcing a day earlier he was retiring at the conclusion of the MLS season but that the Galaxy got little to show for its effort Friday except a 2-2 tie with the San Jose Earthquakes at StubHub Center.
“Yeah, it feels like a loss,” said Donovan, who made his 300th career start. “But I think when we wake up in the morning we’ll realize one point is better than none, and to come back twice from a goal down is still good.
“We did everything we could. The ball just didn’t find the net in the end.”
It was an especially meaningful game for the 32-year-old, who earlier this season set the MLS career record for goals scored. He revealed on Thursday, the day after scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the MLS All-Star Game in Portland, Ore., that he was calling it a career after 14 seasons.
The holder of five MLS Cup titles said he said he felt “a little different initially” on Friday and admitted the week has been “taxing for a lot of reasons.”
“I’m glad it’s over,” he said.
He also said he’s looking forward to getting away from soccer for a couple of days and then resuming training on Monday.
“I think the lack of preparation this week, everything that went into (Thursday) … I felt energized but I wasn’t sharp,” he said. “I gave away a lot of passes I’m not accustomed to giving away.
“I hope that I can just have some time now to chill out a little bit. This will be the last time I talk about any of this stuff so I can just focus on soccer.”
Teammate Omar Gonzalez, who scored the Galaxy’s tying goal Friday, said Donovan looked like “the same old Landon to me.”
“He always wants to win, he’s that competitive,” he said. “It didn’t change tonight.”
Gyasi Zardes, who continued his superb form with his eighth goal in nine games, said the pre-game vibe wasn’t any different after Thursday’s stunning announcement. But he did admit he’s going to be counting the days until Donovan’s finale. There are 14 games left in the regular season.
“I enjoy every training session, and especially with him,” he said. “I’m a student of the game and I try to learn as much as I can from him. He’s an incredible player.”
If Gonzalez has his way, Donovan will go out on a championship note.
“Landon’s had a storied career,” he said, “and it would be great to send him off the right way.
“I think now that the end is near and he sees that, he’ll be giving his all and it’s going to be awesome to see him the next few months.”