Result: D.C. United 0 Beckham 2

The Galaxy’s second goal was pure Beckham, too.

He made an inch perfect pass from inside the Galaxy’s half of the center circle that eluded Josh Gros and was clinically finished by Donovan.

United didn’t play poorly — they out shot the Galaxy 8-4 in the first half, for instance — but they didn’t have a player of Beckham’s undoubted class.

Clearly the outstanding player on the field, Beckham dominated the game, dictating the tempo, directing virtually all the Galaxy’s attacks and making the game look simple, a trait of all the greats.

Even Posh clapped after his goal.

Beck’s left in the 63rd minute, his job done and the field turf at Giant’s Stadium looming Saturday.

There were 17,223 in attendance and you’ve got to think those ticket stubs will be quite the piece of memorabilia in years to come.

Steve McClaren picks his England team Friday, by the way, but Beckham is already all but guaranteed a spot.

Next up for the Galaxy in SuperLiga: Pachuca on Wednesday Aug. 29 in the final, two days after the Galaxy visit Kansas City.

Updated 10:45 P.M.

Keep a bunch of sports writers on a tight deadline waiting for 90 minutes for an interview after a game (he needed treatment on the ankle) and you’re sure to get a hostile reception. Unless you’re Beck’s who disarms any hostility immediately with that “aw shucks” smile and a (genuine, you feel) comment of “Sorry to keep you waiting.”

Anyway, modest Becks talked for 14 minutes, thanked the ref for not giving him a red card for the foul and described both goals as owing something to a “certain amount of luck,” (!) but conceded “you create your own luck.”

“I felt I was going to score as soon as I had the ball in my hands,” he said of the free kick that was the first he’d taken in eight weeks. “If I hit it right I knew it was going in.”

Beckham said he was surprised at the strength of his left ankle.

“I was happy to get an hour on the pitch — I didn’t expect to last an hour,” he said. “It was a lot better than I actually thought it was going to be.”

I did get a knock on my ankle tonight,” he added. “It’s slightly swollen.”

Still, he hopes to play at least part of the game in New York before flying out to join up with the rest of the squad before England’s game on Wednesday against Germany.

Beckham was the talk of the post-game press conference even before his belated appearance.

D.C. United Coach Tom Soehn was asked four questions — and three were about Beckham.

Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop looked like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

“It was good for the locker room to be buoyant and happy because we haven’t had a lot of happiness this year,” he said. “We’ve all been waiting for that free kick.”

Landon Donovan said he had approached Beckham after training Tuesday to offer him the captaincy.

“I’m not stupid and I’m not naive,” he said. “This is someone who’s been the captain of England, one of the better teams in the world.

“(Becoming captain) made him immediately a part of the team.”

And his performance tonight instantly made him the most important part.

Updated 1 a.m.

For more details on the game, here’s what Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz had to say.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Greg Y

    It’s always seemed to me that Donovan has never embraced the captain’s role, whether on the Galaxy or the national team. People who want leadership roles — in any group — usually seize them, and it just doesn’t seem that LD has ever done that. I wonder if he’s relieved to hand it off?