WASHINGTON (AFP) - David Beckham made his eagerly anticipated Major League Soccer debut here Thursday, coming on as a second-half substitute in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 1-0 loss to DC United.
"We are disappointed at losing, but we have to look forward to the next game," Beckham said. "We knew what they could do. We knew that they were strong up front, quick and good on the ball.
"They capitalised on that by getting a goal and getting stuck in. We had a couple of chances at the end, but we are disappointed."
The former England captain looked grim when his new team went down 1-0 to a 27th minute goal from United's Brazilian striker Luciano Emilio.
And despite the fact that his injured left ankle is far from 100 percent, Beckham began to warm up 10 minutes before halftime.
"It felt a lot better tonight than it had in a while," Beckham said of his ankle. "It’s difficult after eight weeks of hardly doing anything, but I was happy to be back on the field."
As Beckham jogged and stretched on the sideline, cameras flashed and many in the the crowd of 46,686 at RFK Stadium got to their feet in anticipation of the first match for the international star in United States' domestic football league.
England’s manager Steve McClaren was on hand to see how the former England captain was playing in advance of upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers.
After the interval a steady rain began, but Beckham kept up his preparations and entered the match in the 72nd minute.
At that time Galaxy midfielder Kyle Martino had already received a red card for spiking United midfielder Fred.
Until Thursday, Beckham had made just one brief appearance on the pitch for his new team, coming on as a substitute in a friendly against English Premiership club Chelsea on July 21 in Los Angeles.
Apart from that the English superstar had been on the sidelines, not even training fully with his Galaxy teammates as he nursed his injured ankle.
Beckham, 32, was hurt in June playing in a Euro 2008 qualifier for England and aggravated it helping Real Madrid to the Spanish League title.
The crowd was fourth-biggest for football in RFK Stadium history and the largest for an MLS game that was not part of a special doubleheader involving the US national team.
The Galaxy signed Beckham in January to a five-year contract that was to begin when his commitment to Real Madrid ended at the end of the Spanish season.
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