CARSON, Calif. — Although Landon Donovan was grateful for an evening of tributes to his soccer career, his excitement was dampened when the L.A. Galaxy blew a two-goal lead and the chance to take control of the MLS regular-season race.
So after his celebratory game ended in a draw, Donovan addressed the sellout crowd with a promise.
“I love you guys, and we’re still going to win the Cup,” Donovan said.
Clint Dempsey and Lamar Neagle scored three minutes apart in the second half, rallying the Seattle Sounders to a 2-2 tie with the Galaxy on Sunday night and sending the MLS race for the Supporters’ Shield down to the final weekend.
Baggio Husidic and Marcelo Sarvas scored for the Galaxy, but the Sounders’ comeback means the Supporters’ Shield for the best regular-season record will be awarded after Saturday after the season finale between the clubs in Seattle.
The clubs are even atop the MLS standings with 61 points. The Sounders (19-10-4) hold the tiebreaker and can claim their first MLS regular-season title with a win or tie.
The Galaxy (17-6-10) spent the evening honoring Donovan, the MLS career scoring leader and five-time champion who will retire after the season.
The 32-year-old Southern California native has spent the past 10 seasons with the Galaxy. Donovan had his testimonial game with the U.S. national team earlier this month, but this game was a chance for the sellout crowd of 27,244 to pay tribute before the Galaxy’s playoff grind.
The Galaxy honored Donovan with a full array of festivities, including prominent signs and banners all around StubHub Center. Donovan stood with his parents and other family watching a pregame video tribute, while Donovan’s friend, Five for Fighting singer John Ondrasik, serenaded him at a piano on the field.
Donovan’s favorite musical act, Boyz II Men, then sang the national anthem, moving him to tears.
Donovan thrilled the crowd early when his looping header glanced just off the crossbar in the 10th minute. Moments later, the crowd held up thousands of No. 10 placards and chanted Donovan’s name throughout the 11th minute of play.
Thumbnail photo by Kelvin Kuo/The Associated Press