David Beckham returned from seven weeks out injured in the 68th minute when he came in for Pete Vagenas with the score tied 1-1 and the Galaxy needing to avoid losing to end their season.
The crowd has gone bananas and the flash bulbs are popping.
In what was a surprise to both the Galaxy and reporters, David Beckham kicked a ball today for the first time in more than a month.
So unanticipated was the “event,” no cameras were on hand to capture the moment, so the picture accompanying the following story is an old one (although it doesn’t make that clear).
Check it out here.
By the way, they’ll likely be no blogging first thing in the morning.
I’m heading downtown to the Biltmore Hotel for the 10th Honda Symposium, a two-day event that culminates Friday with the Honda Player of the Year Award Ceremony (the nominees are the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, Fulham’s Carlos Bocanegra and Everton’s Tim Howard).
Speaking Thursday are Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas, U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Bob Bradley and Mexican Football Federation General Secretary Decio de Maria.
The Biltmore has Wi-Fi so I’ll blog as events warrant.
Updated 8 a.m. Thursday:
It didn’t take long for the Beckham for England speculation to crank up over there.
Not noted in that BBC story: The Galaxy have home games Oct. 13 and Oct. 18 against Toronto and New York respectively
The Galaxy’s season went from merely horrendous to catastrophic late this afternoon when they received the official medical diagnosis: removal of the Beckham cash-making machine.
Wait, no make that a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee, discovered after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed by team physician Dr. Ronald Kvitne at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
So that’s eight games and out for Beckham (five MLS, two SuperLiga and one World Series of Football).
That’s in addition to the left ankle injury he has nursed ever since picking it up June 6 playing for England.
He’s missed three of the Galaxys last six league games and all three in the opening round of SuperLiga.
By the time he returns the MLS season will almost be over and England’s future in Euro 2008 decided.
The only MLS games left after you count six weeks out: the Red Bulls at the HDC Oct. 18 and Oct. 21 in Chicago.
He’ll also miss an Oct. 3 friendly against the Vancouver Whitecaps that’s being heavily promoted.
Here’s the reaction from the BBC.
Updated 8 a.m. Friday: Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz has more on the $10,483.87 per minute man. (Yes, he did the math).
You can check out how Beckham sustained his latest injury plus see the rest of the Galaxy-Pachuca highlights below.
Doncha hate it when actual work gets in the way of blogging?
It’s impressive just to go down the list of players on the England squad and their teams and see “David Beckham, LA Galaxy.”
It’s a reminder that a player The Times (of London) recently called the 32nd best player in the world is now playing in MLS.
And if Wednesday’s game is any indication, Beckham (when fit) won’t just play. He’ll dominate.
It’s instructive to note that since Juan Pablo Angel joined the Red Bulls he has become the league’s most exciting player. Today the third leading goalscorer in MLS, Angel never really blossomed in England. He was too small, not physical enough.
In MLS though, Angel’s skill comes through.
It will be the same with Beckham. Judging by Wednesday’s sterling performance, where frankly at times he looked like a man playing against boys, Beckham will shine.
His soccer brain, anticipation and touch were so superior to every other player on the field that in a sport where one player usually does not dominate the other 21 on the field, Beckham will become an exception.
“The difference is the game savvy,” said Landon Donovan. “He understands the game on every level. And he knows how to win a game.”
Judge for yourself by checking out Wednesday’s action:
For more on Beckham’s impact on MLS, this is what Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz wrote today.
Surprise, surprise Beckham won’t play Sunday.
The bright side for Galaxy fans: It’s looking increasingly unlikely England Coach Steve McClaren will pick Beck’s for upcoming internationals that conflict with some games at Home Depot Center.
Media columnist Tom Hoffarth looks at the implications of an invisible Becks for TV and the game in general.
The David Beckham road show has been delayed with Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop confirming at training this morning what was widely suspected: Beck’s will not travel with the team to Dallas’ sold out Pizza Hut Park and remain home rehabbing his still-injured left ankle.
Beckham is now targeting Sunday’s MLS game against Toronto F.C. for a return to the field, Yallop said, although that will be played on artificial turf in Canada, which is hard on even completely healthy knees and ankles.
“He’s going to start running on it … tomorrow, so he can get on it and see what it feels like,” Yallop said. “He’s got to get rid of the pain.”
Also out for Tuesday’s final SuperLiga group game: Kyle Martino (groin) and Cobi Jones, who was undergoing an MRI Monday to determine the severity of a deep hip strain it’s hoped is not a tear.
I’ll have more on Beckham’s health woes in Tuesday’s column.
After Beck’s sat out the SuperLiga opener Tuesday, Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop said after the game he anticipates making another late decision on whether he’ll play Saturday against Mexico’s Chivas at the Coliseum, so you might want hold off buying a ticket yet.
And, it turns out, people are, at least on the secondary market.
TicketsNow said Tuesday “ticket demand in the secondary market has come back down to earth” and they had more than 2,000 tickets to move for the three Galaxy SuperLiga games. The price range: $11-$268, compared to prices as high as $1,250 for the game this past weekend.
Meanwhile, Telemundo TV executives must be praying Beckham will play Saturday.
ESPN released the final ratings Tuesday for David Beckham’s MLS debut and while lower than the 1.2 overnights in major markets released earlier said it was the most-watched MLS telecast ever on ESPN or ESPN2, with 947,000 homes tuning in. That translated into a 1.0 rating, which may not sound like much, but MLS ratings are usually all but invisible, averaging around a 0.2 or so.
Here’s the (edited) ESPN press release:
“The telecast, which featured David Beckham playing for 16 minutes in his first match in a Galaxy uniform despite nursing an ankle injury, was also the most-viewed and highest-rated program of the night on ad-supported cable networks among Men 18-49 and 25-54.
The match beat the previous most-viewed telecast, the first in league history in April 1996 between D. C. United and the San Jose Clash, which was seen in 681,000 homes for a 1.0 rating.
The game also beat the most-viewed, non-World Cup final U.S. National Team game on ESPN or ESPN2. Previously, the most-viewed U.S. National Team telecast, seen in 680,000 homes for a 0.9 rating, was for the Oct. 3, 1997, World Cup qualifying match between Jamaica and the U.S. on ESPN.”
Not surprisingly, the Galaxy (and Beckham) are slated for five more prime time appearances on ESPN2 this season.
And David Beckham’s Soccer USA premieres at 6 p.m. today on Fox Soccer Channel.
Or maybe not.
“I’m hoping that everything will be OK to at least get him on the field,” said Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop.
No kidding. A debacle looms.
Check in at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Meanwhile, Professor Phil Collin checks in with an analysis of the Beckham swerve.
And here’s Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho on today’s game from the Chelsea Web site.
Sports media critic Tom Hoffarth breaks down the planned ESPN coverage of Becks Saturday for what may or may not be his Galaxy debut in Carson.
And if that’s news to you, read the previous post.
My bet: he’ll put in at least a cameo appearance if only to prevent a class action lawsuit from fans seeking ticket refunds.
Meanwhile, Beckham has quietly put up his own American-oriented Web site.
Supposedly he’ll blog at some point (welcome to the party, Becks), but for now that hasn’t happened and the updates are coming a little slow. Still, you can win a signed Galaxy Beckham shirt there.
By the way, as the pace of marketing soccer quickens in the U.S., it’s becoming a mini-trend for familiar names in Europe to try to establish themselves as brands here by unveiling Americanized Web sites.
English Premier League team Chelsea, the Galaxy’s opponents Saturday, has one called Chelsea in America.
And Real Madrid, Becks’ former team, unveiled one this week dubbed Real Madrid America.