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Beckham, Donovan propel Galaxy past Earthquakes

Apr 4, 2008 - 6:19 AM CARSON, California (Ticker) -- David Beckham and Landon Donovan each had a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, on Thursday at the Home Depot Center.

After a two-year absence from Major League Soccer, the Earthquakes returned to the pitch against the Galaxy - the team they last played in the 2005 Western Conference semifinals before the club moved to Houston.

Beckham and Donovan, however, were not gracious hosts.

The English superstar accepted a brilliant feed from Donovan just outside the box and deftly slipped the ball past goalkeeper Joe Cannon in the eighth minute of the contest.

Beckham then returned the favor to Donovan in the 37th minute, flicking the ball with his right foot to his hard-charging teammate. Donovan then casually lofted a shot over the head of a rapidly-closing Cannon to give the Galaxy a 2-0 lead.

After the match, Beckham admitted that he felt completely fit - which is a far cry from last season.

"Last year, I was probably 50 percent fit when I started," he said. "I was playing in games I shouldn't have been and it just sort of went downhill from there. I feel great after two games and my England game, so I ready to get on with it."

And ready to put last season's behind him.

"It`s important from my part and the team's that (I'm) here from the beginning," Beckham said. "Last year, there was a lot of distractions and I think I suffered from that - and also the team.

"I'm happy to be through the preseason and ready to play. Last year, I wasn't even training and I was playing. It wasn't good. That's not right to do and I won't do it again."

Prior to Thursday's contest, Beckham's recorded his lone MLS tally on a free kick in a 2-0 SuperLiga semifinal victory over D.C. United on August 15, 2007.

As for Donovan, it was the 10th time since 2001 he has recorded a goal and an assist in an MLS match.

The Galaxy (1-1), who dropped a 4-0 decision to the Colorado Rapids in their season opener on Saturday, enjoyed a decisive 11-3 advantage in shots on Thursday.

"I think tonight was a good team performance," Beckham said. "After our first game, which was difficult to take, we worked hard tonight and played well and that makes us happy."

Los Angeles coach Ruud Gullit agreed with his superstar's assessment.

"I thought we played an excellent game," he said. "Tactfully, I thought we had a good awareness of the team. You could see the difference in the work rate from the last game. I'm still saying that there has to be something said about the altitude in Colorado that makes it hard to play there."