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Donovan praises Beckham after 2-1 win over Revs

David Beckham and Landon Donovan are parting ways again -- this time as teammates who hug each other.
/ Source: WHDH-TV

David Beckham and Landon Donovan are parting ways again -- this time as teammates who hug each other.

Donovan scored the first goal then jumped into the arms of a smiling Beckham, and the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrated their fifth win in six games with a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

Beckham left after the game to train with England's national team for its exhibition game against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Wednesday. Donovan planned to leave Sunday morning for Miami to train with the U.S. national team for its World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Mexico City, also on Wednesday.

Both plan to rejoin the Galaxy on Thursday

"Our team has no issues," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "We are a pretty solid group."

About two months ago, Donovan criticized Beckham's leadership and commitment in a book about Beckham's stint with the Galaxy.

"No one wants to hear those things about them, especially through a book," Donovan said. "He's taken it like a man and he's done a great job of moving past it and I can't say a lot of people would have done that."

So Donovan downplayed the significance of his leap into Beckham's arms after he volleyed the ball for his goal in the 21st minute.

"It could have been anybody at that point," the 27-year-old Donovan told a reporter twice his age. "It could have been you."

Donovan scored on an acrobatic 20-yard shot from the right side that curled high just inside the far post past goalkeeper Matt Reis.

"I've been trying to shoot more and be more aggressive," Donovan said. "David's been great since he's been back, in every way" for five games since a stretch with AC Milan. "He's added something off the field to the group and then his qualities on the field make us a lot better."

Jovan Kirovski's goal made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, and Steve Ralston scored for the Revolution on a penalty kick in the 83rd.

The Galaxy started the day in third place in the Western Conference, with four of those teams making the playoffs. They're 5-0-1 in their last six games.

"We're in a good position now so it's just important that we continue," Beckham said.

As Donovan's shot approached the net, Beckham stood behind him and raised his arm as if anticipating a goal.

"Landon scores probably the goal of the season," said Revolution assistant coach Paul Mariner, who filled in during the first game of coach Steve Nicol's two-game suspension. "Reis had no chance."

The crowd of 26,623 was more than twice New England's average home attendance of 13,088.

But one fan who turned out for Beckham's first MLS game at Foxborough hung a banner over the low wall at the side of the goal line that read: "WE'RE ONLY HERE FOR ALAN GORDON".

Gordon, in his sixth season with the Galaxy, is the longest tenured player on the team. He had a good opportunity in the 14th minute, but his short shot popped over the net.

It was Beckham's third MLS game this season with the Galaxy. He also played two international exhibitions with them.

Beckham is in the third year of a five-year contract with Los Angeles and upset Galaxy fans with his wish to stay in Italy beyond March, when his loan to AC Milan was intended to end.

But MLS made a deal to keep him in Italy until the end of the Serie A season, where the level of play likely makes him a better candidate for a spot on England's national team in next year's World Cup.

Nicol served an automatic one-game suspension for being ejected from a game Aug. 1. MLS added another one-game suspension to that on Saturday, to be served Aug. 20 when the Revolution play Seattle Sounders FC.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)