COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Landon Donovan has sought to define his final season not in kind words and gestures from long time opponents but by victories, and in the LA Galaxy’s biggest win to date, it was Donovan leading the way.
Playing his final game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Donovan served as the catalyst for the Galaxy’s second half comeback as he notched an assist on LA’s rally starting second goal before notching the game winner in the 80th minute. The goal was vintage Donovan as Robbie Keane’s pass unlocked the defense, with Donovan making a brilliant run and easy to finish to help LA complete their comeback.
“It went into Alan [Gordon], and he made a good pass into Robbie, and when Robbie gets the ball like that with that kind of time, I’m going to run as hard as I can, cause I know he’s going to put it into a good spot,” said Donovan. “I picked my head up and saw Clint [Irwin], so I wanted to make sure I had a good touch by him, and then get it off quickly. I’m glad it hit the net.”
Following the match, Arena admitted that in the last three games, Donovan’s performances have been less than stellar, but against the Rapids, he showcased the skill that made him an American soccer great.
“Landon dug deep. I haven’t seen that type of passion out of Landon in a game in a long time,” Arena said. “He wanted to win and he wanted to be an important part of our team to win this game. He did a terrific job.”
Unlike Saturday’s ceremony in Columbus that was spoiled by LA’s worst defeat of the year, Donovan was in a more pleasant mood about Wednesday’s proceedings that saw him presented with a slew of gifts including a ski pass, wine and other goodies.
“I’ve spend a lot of time in this city over my career. I remember playing in Mile High back in 2001, and to see this beautiful facility, and their organization (Colorado Rapids), the way they’ve it has turned around is satisfying for me as someone who has been in this league for so long,” he said. “I’m incredibly appreciative of what happened in Columbus and what happened today. There is absolutely no obligation for anyone to do that, but it shows a lot of class and a lot of respect that I greatly appreciate.”