Galaxy-AC Milan Post-Game

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David Beckham’s first home game back with the Galaxy was (almost) everything you could ask for from a preseason (for Milan) friendly that was more about the show than the result and the money AEG was making from its prize soccer asset.

Was it a coincidence David Beckham was playing against his former and likely future club and looked more interested performing for the Galaxy Sunday night than he did for half of last season?

I think not.

Beckham created both L.A. goals and indeed during the first half he seemed responsible for virtually every Galaxy attack of note in front of as packed a stadium as I’ve ever seen at Home Depot Center (but it nevertheless worked out to exactly an announced 27,000 as usual). It was a pleasure to watch, but somehow it felt more than a little calculated.

Beckham played this game and this crowd like the savvy public relations expert he is. The prestigious event against classy European opposition. Buddy Tom Cruise watching from the stands. And a little slice of anti-hero just to add spice.

i-0f1dc6af9167b0050195f19b9347b81f-becksmilan.jpgDavid Beckham controls the ball against AC Milan defenders Massimo Ambrosini (23) and Mathieu Flamini. (AP Photo).

Beckham even had the obligatory confrontation with the unforgiving Riot Squad just before half time that was suitably provocative and inconsequential enough to bolster, not harm his pseudo-macho image (this is the second game in a row the usually reticent Becks has worn a – gasp- short sleeve soccer jersey that does nothing to hide his tats).

In contrast to what Beckham insisted he yelled at the crowd, one press box colleague related that he was told Becks said a word that starts with “m” and ends with “r” and taunted a fan to come on down and get a piece of him. So the fan did, never made it to the field and got thrown out (but not arrested), according to the Riot Squad message boards.

Notable: Milan Coach Leonardo expressing surprise at the Galaxy tactics given that Beckham was in midfield:

“The first half was very tough for both teams,” he said. “The long balls of the Galaxy was a big surprise to us.”

Really?

The AP game story is here.

Here’s the version in the Daily News, Daily Breeze and other MediaNews Los Angeles Newspaper Group papers.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes 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!
  • Beaten

    It looks like David Beckham is now the Brock Lesnar of the LA Galaxy (the man that people love to hate…). The lead story on most of the TV news programs I watched was about Beckham being booed by the fans. Lets just say that hes no Manny Ramierez.

    While the match vs. AC Milan may have been a successful sell out, I’m sure that the Galaxy management is now holding their breath and praying that all of this negative news will quickly die down.

    If the team can keep winning games (or even tying them…), I’m sure that will help boost the dismal attendance numbers.

    But whatever happens on the field, I’m sure that the fans who feel that they have been jilted by #23 will probably be dogging him all the way until November.

  • Charles

    Several important points to consider:
    Beckham signed a very generous deal after it appeared his career was through at Real Madrid.

    The size of the contract clearly impied that his role was beyond that of a simple player. His role was to be the face of the Galaxy and the MLS. An ambassador of the MLS who sold shirts and filled seats. He clearly accepted this role – until he found a better deal to promote himself further…and he ran.

    Beckham is back because AC Milan management would NOT buy his contract out ( after he repeatedly stated he wanted out of returning to Galaxy)so he is here only to fulfill his legal obligation. He could care less about the Galaxy or the MLS. But he’s smart enough to know that burning bridges now might be costly down the road if he loses his form and playing time in europe – so he’s got his game face on as he plays out his contract.

  • Eric B

    Dismal? The Galaxy have still been drawing over 19,000 without Beckham this season. While not up to Galaxy standards, even pre-Beckham during the Sampson era, I wouldn’t call it dismal…

  • Studs Up

    I can attest to the accuracy of Beckham’s behavior towards the Riot Squad member/s in the incident of note before half time. He did come over and motion towards the fan/s to come over and get him. He even faked jumping over the divider to go at him/them himself.

    Now imagine this was and EPL game and Beckham’s half-Cantona is reported to the FA. What would their decision be?

  • Studs Up

    I felt like a scorned wife of a many recent politicians last night watching him hug and kiss his beautiful mistress in front of my eyes, his “contracted” and faithful wife that he says he is “committed” too.

    He hugged and kissed the entire traveling AC Milan circus but only shook hands with his “team”.

    I think I’ll suit for divorce and use the huge settlement that any court in the nation would give me to get me a new YOUNG boyfriend.

  • KingSnake

    I’m almost done with Wahl’s book, and what I am reading pretty much confirms everything I thought about the whole sordid Rent Boy Beckham scenario. So, awesome performance by the LA Riot Squad!

  • Studs Up