GALAXY: Donovan starts Everton win

Landon Donovan set up an early goal and nearly added a spectacular strike near the end as Everton's opened its F.A. Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory Saturday over fifth-tier Tamworth.

The third-round victory sends the Toffees into a round-of-32 match later this month. The opponent will be determined in a draw Sunday.

The Galaxy captain again went the full 90, as he did in Wednesday's English Premier League loss to Bolton -- his first appearance in an eight-week loan -- and it appears he's quickly meshed with his new teammates. He was dynamic in stages, as against Bolton, and unfortunate to be involved in only one goal.

Donovan's fifth-minute corner kick curled to the far post for Johnny Heitinga, whose header deflected off a Tamworth defender and into the net. Everton added a Leighton Baines penalty kick in the 79th minute.

Donovan teamed with Baines to create a fine chance for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in the 77th minute, and nearly scored a tremendous goal in the 85th, a 25-yard blast to the upper V that hit near where the post and crossbar meet.

Tamworth included former Galaxy forward Kyle Patterson.

Everton, which is out of the championship race and most unlikely to contend for one of the EPL's five slots in next seasons UEFA Champions League and Europa League, is hoping to punctuate its season with a run in the world's oldest and most prestigious national cup competition, dating to 1871.

“For everybody at Everton, the cup run is important, although I could say that and tomorrow we could draw [EPL leader] Manchester City away, and then it's not what you want,” Everton manager David Moyes told media afterward. “Once you get two or three rounds through, then you can starting talking about cup runs.

“Even before today's game, you're always nervous, worried about a banana skin, and I've got to praise the players because their attitude was right.'”

Donovan's performance was overshadowed by those of fellow Americans Clint Dempsey and Brad Guzan. Dempsey scored a hat trick in Fulham's 4-0 F.A. Cup rout of Charlton Athletic, and Guzan, the former Chivas USA goalkeeper, stopped Scott McGleish's penalty kick as Aston Villa beat Bristol Rovers, 3-1.



Jan. 1: at West Bromwich Albion (W, 1-0)

Did not dress

Jan. 4: vs. Bolton (L, 1-2)

Started, 90 minutes

Jan. 7: F.A. Cup third round vs. Tamworth (W, 2-0)

Started, 90 minutes, one assist (Heitinga)

Remaining games

Jan. 11: at Tottenham

Jan. 14: at Aston Villa

Jan. 21: vs. Blackburn

Jan. 28: F.A. Cup fourth round vs. TBA

Feb. 1: vs. Manchester City

Feb. 4: at Wigan Athletic

Feb. 11: vs. Chelsea

Feb. 18: F.A. Cup round of 16 (prospective)

Feb. 25: at Liverpool