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Beckham unlikely to make MLS debut against United

9 August 2007 02:24

TORONTO (AFP) - It seems likely that English star David Beckham’s long-awaited debut in Major League Soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy will remain on hold.

The Galaxy play DC United in Washington on Thursday but will once again be without the international midfielder, who spent Sunday's game against Toronto FC on the substitute's bench dressed in a tailored suit.

Beckham continues to travel with the team in a three-game road trip in the eastern United States, but even the uncharacteristic luxury of a chartered jet for the team cannot make his injured left ankle heal any faster.

The midfielder did play 15 minutes in a recent exhibition game against Chelsea but has still to take part in any serious training with the team.

After a light training session in Washington on Wednesday, he noted that he can now run in a straight line, but cannot make turns without pain.

"I think it's always frustrating for a sportsman when you can't do what you love doing," said Beckham. "It's very frustrating because it's an injury that has had me out for almost eight weeks.

"It's getting better, improving every day, but I would want it to be a bit quicker, but obviously (that is) a natural thing."

The team will fly to Boston after the game against United, where they will play the New England Revolution on Sunday. They follow that match with a SuperLiga semi-final against DC United nwt Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, MLS teams other than the Galaxy have already reaped the benefit of the Beckham signing.

Sellouts have been announced for all three venues on the current trip, with DC United and the New England Revolution - who host the Galaxy on Sunday - opening levels in their stadiums that are normally closed for most MLS matches.

A total of 45,000 tickets were sold for the Thursday night game at RFK Stadium in the nation's capital.

"While United enjoys the best fan support in Major League Soccer, the crowd attending Thursday night will be exceptionally large and include many people who've not yet seen DC United play," said United executive vice president Stephen Zack.

New England normally configures MLS games at Gillette Stadium - the 69,000-seat home of the highly successful New England Patriots of the American footl - for a crowd of 20,000.

For Sunday’s game, they have opened seating to allow 32,000 ticket holders a first glimpse of Beckham in Massachusetts.

Fans of FC Dallas were vocal in their disappointment of not seeing the new MLS star, who did not attend a July 31 SuperLiga game in Texas.

Dallas officials responded quickly, promising ticket holders first chance at purchasing seats for a pre-season game between the teams in 2008 before tickets go on sale to the public.

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