CARSON -- Nine days after signing, and about half an hour into his debut, the Earthquakes' newest player made a critical impact Friday night.
But Matias Perez Garcia's first goal in Major League Soccer could not extend the Earthquakes' two-game winning streak, as the visitors settled for a 2-2 tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 19,719 at the StubHub Center.
Nevertheless, the draw continued both teams' unbeaten stretches. The Earthquakes (6-8-6) have not lost in four consecutive games. Los Angeles (9-4-7) has not experienced defeat in three successive games and only once in the past 12, as the Galaxy surged from last place in the Western Conference to within four points of the first-place Seattle Sounders.
"We got a great point against a very, very good team," Quakes coach Mark Watson said. "Obviously, they were dominant and we defended a lot, but we showed a great mentality to see the game out under a lot of pressure."
Perez Garcia scored in the 31st minute to put the Earthquakes ahead 2-1. Shea Salinas began the play by passing the ball from his own end to Atiba Harris on the right flank.
Harris' cross off the sole of Chris Wondolowski's right foot deflected to Perez Garcia, who fired a left-footed line drive from 19 yards that ricocheted off the right hand of Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who dived to his left to no avail.
"What a finish," Wondolowski said. "He took that goal really well and struck it perfect. You could see he has great technical ability."
Perez Garcia, who played for Club Atletico Tigre in Argentina's first division for the past two seasons, became the Earthquakes' third designated player July 31. In his first game, Perez Garcia played as a withdrawn forward behind Wondolowski and between midfielders Salinas and Harris.
"I thought it was a good start for him," Watson said. "He's great on the ball. He can get out of pressure, his passing is good and he scored a great goal. He's going to be a big part of what we do."
Wondolowski scored his team-high eighth goal to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. The scoring sequence started after the Galaxy's Marcelo Sarvas took a 20-yard shot that hit Quakes defender Jason Hernandez. Sam Cronin secured the rebound and quickly passed to Salinas, who embarked on a solo run.
Wondolowski quickly ran behind Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez to receive Salinas' pass. With Gonzalez marking him, Wondolowski dribbled into the left side of the penalty area, then cut to his right before unleashing a 16-yard shot inside the far post.
Both of the Quakes' goals resulted from counterattacks, which reflected the Galaxy's pressing style that forced the visitors into a defensive shell.
"I thought that in the last four or five games, we moved the ball pretty well, had some good possession and a bit more control of the game," Watson said. "But they pressed right away, and we didn't do a great job of transitional play, in terms of those first few passes to give us a chance to have any extended possession."
Los Angeles tied the score in the 29th minute. After Robbie Keane's shot ricocheted off the Earthquakes' Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, the Galaxy's Gyasi Zardes secured the deflection and converted from 11 yards between defenders Hernandez and Victor Bernardez.
Gonzalez forced the tie in 49th minute by heading Stefan Ishizaki's corner kick from seven yards.
Bernardez left the game in the 70th minute with a broken nose after colliding with Zardes and Shaun Francis while attempting to head the ball. Bernardez received medical attention for about three minutes.
Ty Harden replaced Bernardez. Harden made his first appearance since July 2 after having undergone an appendectomy.
FC Dallas (9-7-6)
at Earthquakes (6-8-6), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA