The LA Galaxy were able to sneak out of Toronto with a point as Jose Villarreal came on as a sub and got the late equalizer for a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC. Defensive lapses allowed Toronto to get up 2-1, after Mike Magee scored the match opener.
The big story from the match will be Landon Donovan making his return to the club after missing much of the first month. While everyone knew he planned to return in late March, it was expected that he would take a week or two getting back into soccer form. Instead, he came in at the 60th minute, a planned move to get him some match day experience.
"It was good. Obviously I want to play better; I didn't play well. It was pretty interesting to get that first touch. I think within a week or two that's going to be a ball that's in the back of the net."
Donovan said that he was lucky to be able to work on fitness while away from the club, to go along with his natural fitness. The part that he needs to work on is the on the field moves, which will just come with time and seeing the game in front of him. This was just his fourth day of doing anything with the team. He did say that he got back some of that desire from his time away, that he felt like a kid today.
The other story from the match was Jose Villarreal's equalizer, which in the end almost eclipsed the hype of Donovan's return. With every goal Villarreal scores the pressure on him to become something great grows. Luckily it seems he has the talent to make a real go of it.
Omar Gonzalez chipped the ball diagonally into the box from just above the midway line. Toronto FC's Darel Russell and Mike Magee were jostling for position, and Russell was the one who got a head to the ball. The clearance was unsuccessful, and Villarreal was able to drop and scissor kick the ball over his head with his left foot.
"We made things real difficult on ourselves today," said Bruce Arena. "This is a game where I really believe we could have had three points."
Certainly there's an argument to be made that Toronto got some lucky breaks on their equalizing goal. Leonardo made a lazy back pass to Omar Gonzalez that Robert Earnshaw intercepted. Instead of holding his ground, Carlo Cudicini chose to come out and try to slide tackle Earnshaw. When that was unsuccessful, Earnshaw had an open net to shoot on.
Toronto got their second goal from their own homegrown prospect, Jonathan Osario. The twenty year old tapped in a roller past Cudicini after Luis Silva did some nice one on one work against Omar Gonzalez. Tired legs from the two World Cup Qualifiers seemed to plague Gonzalez a bit, who wasn't at his best today against Toronto.
With how things have gone thus far the Galaxy could argue they should be at 10 points, but there's no arguing with a pace of 2 points per match. Now the focus switches back to CONCACAF Champions League, with a short turnaround until the match on Wednesday. Monterrey also plays later today at 6:00 PDT, hosting Pumas on Univision Deportes.