Beckham “Questionable” for Friday’s Chicago game.

Nationally televised on ESPN2: check.

Playoff implications on the line since the Galaxy can clinch their first playoff berth in four years with a win over the Chicago Fire on Friday night and a D.C. United loss to Chivas USA Saturday: check.

David Beckham returning from what was initially dismissed as a 50-50, long-standing Achilles tendon issue: Maybe not.

The midfielder could miss his second game in a row at a crucial time of the season after being one of five players listed as questionable in today’s Galaxy injury report ahead of Friday’s game.

The complete list:

OUT – Alecko Eskandarian (Head – Disabled List), Julian Valentin (Right Foot – Disabled List)

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – David Beckham (Right Ankle – Inflammation), A.J. DeLaGarza (Left Knee – Bruise), Dema Kovalenko (Right Achilles – Tendonitis), Eddie Lewis (Left Ankle – Sprain), Stefani Miglioranzi (Left Groin – Strain)

PROBABLE – None

You’ve got to feel for Eskandarian: his injury is not broken nose or concussion symptoms – it’s just “head.”

Ouch.

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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!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    I would be very interested to see if The David will make himself available for selection for England, which has a World Cup qualifier on Oct. 14. We can’t disappoint Il Fabio, now, can we?

  • Elison

    As Mr. D’Hippolito points out, Oct 14 is a World Cup qualifier (not a friendly). In which case, unless a player has retired from international play, if a national team manager calls him up the player is required by FIFA to go. If there is an injury the manager can (and in the case of England he has) require club medical records, or even the appearance of a player for a physical by NT medical staff — as was the annoying case with Steven Gerrard a few months ago.

    Obviously many argue that Beckham should retire as an international and focus on his club — something I consider a bit much to ask in the lead up to a World Cup.

    I would certainly argue that its archaic and ridiculous, how much power FIFA wields. But also, once again, that it is ridiculous that MLS is the only league in the world that makes no concession to the international calendar.

  • Inigo Montoya

    Dear Elison–

    Blah blah blah FIFA blah blah blah Beckham blah blah blah play for his country blah blah blah true international professional blah blah blah MLS’s fault blah blah blah.

    Get over it. Go away. No Galaxy fan cares about your generic “sophisticated international soccer fan” blah blah blah. Go watch a Formula 1 race or a cricket match, and drink your favorite obscure European beer. We’re obviously beneath you.

    Beckham signed a contract to play for the Galaxy as their “designated player.” He arrived late and injured, violating his contract, because playing in Europe and for England was more important to him than staying fit for the people who are paying him. Europe/England are of course more important than training with his club. In three years, we can count on two hands the number of games he’s played where he was fit and well prepared to play effectively with the team (and looked like he cared). Now, when the team has finally (mostly without him) become competitive within its own league, he’s unable to play in crucial end-of-season games.

    If they lose to Chicago, fair or unfair, it’s on him. Everything else is blah blah blah.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Elison, I would have to agree with Inigo Montoya (not with the personal attacks but with his take on Beckham). In fact, I believe Capello is manipulating Beckham — and Beckham is allowing himself to be manipulated. I have no problem whatsoever with any player wanting to play in a World Cup. But if England has qualified (and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe England has), then why call in Beckham?

  • Elison

    It was nice to be called sophisticated though. I wouldn’t disagree about Capello, at the very least in terms of rebuilding the NT. Whatever has gone on in the Galaxy, Capello’s experience with Beckham has been that he’s been excellent for his teams’ morale and Capello took over England when that was a huge problem.

    Yes, England have qualified already, and many fans are hoping that our club teams’ internationals come out of the remaining qualifiers and friendlies unscathed. (I’m a Liverpool fan so my concerns don’t center around Beckham, and given his first and favored club, I can’t be accused of being partial to him in any discussion. I do, however, think he has as much right as any other player in MLS or any other league to represent his country if called upon.)

    Whatever we are all hoping for our players, the reality is that all World Cup managers will want to have every player they are considering together as often as possible. Needless to say teams need to be in peak form given the competition they’ll face and they can only get that way by practicing and playing together with some consistency.

    BTW, how can a player who is thought to have contributed to his team in only ten matches (two hands worth) in a three year period make enough of an impact to be noticed if he doesn’t play on Friday night, let alone be responsible for the loss? Does that mean the rest of the team only makes an impact in nine games every three years? There’s no need to go from one extreme to the other.

  • http://soccer-24-7-wsb.blogspot.com/ Ivan

    Joseph, yes England has officially qualified for the World Cup, but I believe Beckham is one of the “bubble players” that probably needs England’s upcoming games to assure his place on the World Cup team.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Elison, here’s how I see the logic: By playing for three different teams (Galaxy, Milan, England) with minimal rest, Beckham increases the likelihood for injury. Since he’s had an ongoing Achilles condition, his constant play increases the possibility of aggravating that condition. Since he is a vital part of the Galaxy’s efforts on the field, his absence creates a hole that the Galaxy (which has little depth or speed to speak of) must fill. Yes, the players on the field are responsible for the team’s fate. Nevertheless, by putting himself in position to increase his chances of injury (and, let’s not forget, Beckham is 35) because of what has become an obsessive quest to get into another World Cup, Beckham is hurting his club.

  • Elison

    Fair enough logic, Joseph, certainly one side of the age old debate–and I sympathize. I have to worry about players on the NT’s of England, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Holland, Israel, Slovakia, Greece, Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, and the French youth team, during international fixtures! Liverpool also participate in enough cup tournaments and pre-season “publicity” tours to equal playing on at least three teams. It is too much stress on the player’s bodies.

    I just don’t take Beckham’s efforts to make himself available to play for England, or in another World Cup, as a trite obsession, but rather something I understand and respect. And again, I believe MLS should do more to make it easier for all its internationals by respecting the FIFA calendar (and, of course, that European clubs give their players bodies at least a rest between seasons instead of renting the teams out for a bit more cash!)

  • UCLABZ

    JD’H-

    Don’t forget that since Beckham is the Galaxy’s designated player he is effectively blocking out another high quality player, who could play an important part in the Galaxy’s success, from playing. I sure as heck hope the Galaxy don’t let him go out on loan again during the break.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    UCLABZ, you’re absolute right.

    Elison, I also believe Capello is manipulating Beckham to his advantage. Let’s face it: Since England has qualified, Capello can afford to look at younger “bubble players,” as well. But he knows that he’s in Beckham’s head and he firmly plans to stay there, club commmittments be damned!

    You don’t get to manage such sides as AC Milan, Real Madrid or England w/o being a very strong-minded personality who knows how to push his players buttons. Just ask people like Scolari, Ferguson, Mourinho. Wenger seems to be the exception to the rule (and I’m not an Arsenal fan) but I could be wrong.

  • Elison

    Very good point about Capello. As a matter of fact I remember him, as a club manager, preventing players from joining their national teams in what seemed to be an illegal manner at the time. You’ve got him spot on.

    From any fans point of view there will always be an emotional component to a discussion of this sort. While Beckham played for my team’s greatest rivals from an early age, I have also watched him play for England since he was a youngster. Those in the U.S. can’t have that history so it will be easier to view his desire to continue to play for his country as cynical. For me, I see the point of view of his club’s fans, but I also see a young man who has put his heart, soul — and as you say, body — into his national team for many years with nothing to show for it. During many of those years he was the team’s captain. It would be inhuman for him not to want a last chance, if it is available, to help put that right. We might not fancy England’s chances in the World Cup, but that’s not how a player can think.

    It’s unfortunate that Beckham’s time with the Galaxy did not work out for the fans, as it has for investors. Given the salary cap, an outright sale to Milan would have been beneficial to building the team the way it should be. Hats off to Arena for what he was able to do despite that.

  • Inigo Montoya

    Okay, Elison. Apologies for unloading on you earlier.

    But your last message reveals the problem. You say “I have also watched him play for England since he was a youngster. Those in the U.S. can’t have that history so it will be easier to view his desire to continue to play for his country as cynical.”

    I get that. But I have watched the LAGalaxy play (and before that, the Aztecs) since they were youngster teams. You (I dunno — you say you’re an Arsenal fan — from the UK?) can’t have that history, so it will be easier to view our desire to field a competitive team as cynical.

    For the first decade of MLS, the LA Galaxy were one of the three or four dominant teams in the young league. How the mighty are fallen, I know, but the point is this: I don’t care about the long view of Beckham the player, and you don’t care about the long view of the Galaxy as a club.

    Galaxy fans want to see them return to the top of the league, where we think they belong. Beckham has done virtually nothing to help that, and much to hinder it.

    Pardon me, but I don’t give a rip about all this Capello or England stuff.

  • Elison

    No worries, Inigo, it’s an emotional discussion. I’m happy Mr. Green has let it go on for so long because I think it is too often couched as US fans v non US fans, when the only across the board difference between us — as everyone commenting has pointed out in one way or another — is what and whom we grew up watching (I’m Liverpool btw, but no offense taken there either).

    At the bottom of it all I love sports. I’ve lived in this country long enough to be an extremely happy baseball and basketball fan, and a great booster of MLS, who attends as many games as I can.

    Even though LA are not my local MLS team, in watching to see what effect having Beckham, or whoever the first high profile DP would have been, I got to know the players pretty well and wish they could reap some success simply because of the battering they took while the situation seemed to be as mishandled and mismanaged, from all sides, as I could have imagined.

    Please don’t think that anyone who grew up outside of the US, or who might see any aspect of a situation from Beckham’s point of view, does not want the Galaxy to have the freedom to a build winning team — shirt sales and new markets be damned. There is a lot MLS has to do in terms of salary structure, roster size, and their calendar before still active international DP’s can be as successfully integrated into teams as they should be. I see your desires and frustrations as completely reasonable, not cynical at all, I just don’t lay the source of the problem completely at Beckham’s feet. Good luck in the rest of the season.

  • Studs Up

    See what you started J. D’Hip?

    I can’t believe all of this rhetoric just because of a smart remark to an injury report. It’s sports, injuries happens. I argue that Beckham is in probably better shape at 34 than most of players on this team. MLS being what is, I take him for half of a season. If we had a fan base that was throughly behind the team and sold out every game in a thriving league, then we can argue if he should be on the team. Until then, let the circus stay in town for however long it can.

    Support the MLS and US national teams.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Well, Studs Up, somebody has to stir the pot every now and then. ;)