LOS ANGELES (AFP) - David Beckham threw caution to the wind playing a full 90 minutes in his first start of the 2010 season for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Beckham, who has been anointed as the player to take the MLS from a football backwater to international status, was just as surprised as his teammates that he stayed in for the entire game in the Galaxy's 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
"It was good to get 90 minutes," Beckham said.
And in an ironic twist, Beckham was forced to put his surgically-repaired foot to a full test and go the distance against the Red Bulls because of substitutions and injuries to his teammates Friday.
"We had to do that," said Beckham. "I discussed with Bruce (coach Arena) during the week that I would play 65 to 70 minutes and I felt pretty good."
The 35-year-old, ex-England captain created scoring chances, took a free kick, survived a hard tackle early that tested his injury and received a yellow card late in the match for a hard tackle of his own in front of a crowd of 27,000 at The Home Depot Center.
"At some stages I felt tired but we had a few players pull up with injuries so I had to stay on," he said.
Beckham suffered the injury in mid-March while on loan to AC Milan. The injury kept Beckham, England's most-capped outfield player, from playing in his fourth World Cup as he missed the 2010 finals in South Africa.
"David felt he could play 90 minutes." Arena said. "In a perfect world he should not have played that long. He showed tremendous character and quality in last 20 minutes when by all rights he should have been off the field."
Beckham, who had played just 57 minutes as a substitute in his first two games this season, wasn't complaining Friday. He just wished his Galaxy had gotten off to a better start.
Los Angeles didn't get their first shot on goal until the 66th minute but then rallied to control the offence late in the game.
"The first half sets the tone of the game and the first half wasn't good for us," Beckham said. "We didn't start well. They kept the ball and we didn't pressure them. When you start games like that it is tough going on from there."
Friday's contest was the first start for Beckham since last year's MLS final.
He made his first appearance of this season on September 11, coming off the bench for 20 minutes against the Columbus Crew. He followed that up with 37 minutes as a substitute against DC United last weekend. Unlike Friday's campaign, both those games resulted in Galaxy wins.
Friday's match was billed as Beckham versus Thierry Henry, the French star who recently signed a 5.6 million dollar contract to join the Red Bulls.
Henry was ruled out of the match because of a nagging strained right knee that he suffered three weeks ago in a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake.
Beckham said he enjoyed stepping back into the spotlight against the Red Bulls in what could be a preview of the MLS Cup in November.
"Obviously there was a bit more hype and buzz around this game because it was New York and the rivalry," Beckham said.
"The players they brought in with (Rafael) Marquez and Thierry. There was more hype around the game and it was a full stadium. There was a buzz leading up to it but once you start the game it is just like any other game."
|Coach: B. Arena|
for Leonardo 46'
for J. Kirovski 67'
for D. Kovalenko 76'
|Ryan and Valencia desperate to end dismal Sevilla record|
|Pochettino talks up positive Mourinho relationship|
|Seedorf: Premier League job would be an honour|
|Carragher: Grealish running out of chances|
|Mourinho: Book sales the reason behind Drogba criticism|
|Allardyce: Sunderland looking to emulate Juventus|
|Barkley eyeing Everton silverware|
|Ramsey to continue in unfavoured wide role|
|Stoke boss Hughes wants Arnautovic stay|
|Tottenham no longer fear Chelsea, says Dier|
|Rooney deserves his starting place - Van Gaal|
|Klopp: Lewandowski, Aubameyang show Benteke can flourish with patience|
|Costa must read the game better - Mourinho|
|Ibrahimovic could return to Milan - Raiola|
|Pellegrini unconcerned by Guardiola rumours|
|Hull City 0 Derby County 2: Clement´s side move to Championship summit|
|St Johnstone 1 Dundee 1: Wotherspoon leveller ensures spoils are shared|
|Darmstadt 0 Cologne 0: Schuster held by old club|
|Levante 0 Real Betis 1: Castro sends Mel´s side into top half|
|Lyon 2 Montpellier 4: Courbis´ side expose dire defending|
|In-form Barkley ´good enough for Chelsea or Manchester United´|
|Koke: Difficult for Atletico to catch Barcelona|
|Lucas: PSG sent security guards to players´ homes|
|Palermo v Juventus: Lichtsteiner ready for crucial period|
|Pastore ruled out of Troyes clash|
|Bayern announce record financial results|
|Liverpool v Swansea City: Klopp stays grounded despite strong form|
|CAS reduces RFEF fine but supports FIFA findings|
|Tottenham v Chelsea: Mourinho has faith in porous defence|
|Borussia Dortmund v Stuttgart: Kramny tenure begins at Signal Iduna Park|
|Former FIFA president Joao Havelange hospitalised|
|Teixeira reveals offers from Chelsea, Juventus and PSG|
|Klopp warns Liverpool about Swansea´s attack|
|Eibar v Real Madrid: Casemiro eager to put Clasico in the past|
|Luis Fabiano announces Sao Paulo exit|
|Monk: I have the full support of Swansea chairman Jenkins|
|Newcastle hit by Haidara injury blow|
|Afraid of Higuain? I beat Messi! - Felipe Melo|
|West Ham v West Brom: Song urges Hammers to hit the right notes|
|Coloccini to keep Newcastle captaincy after ´feisty´ week|
|FFF files civil action over Valbuena, Benzema sex tape|
|Sakho expects Liverpool return in six weeks|
|AC Milan are not in crisis, but we need to beat them - Montella|
|Blanc defends Cavani but still wants more goals|
|Bayern in great shape ahead of Hertha test, says Boateng|
|Madrid confirm Varane thigh injury|
|Luis Enrique warns Barceona rivals: Messi only just getting started|
|Mourinho unconvinced by Spurs ´fatigue´|
|Sturridge setback ´not that serious´ - Klopp|
|City boss Pellegrini cool on Guardiola, Messi rumours|
|Mihajlovic sets Milan two-points-per-game target|
|Atletico want to be annoying - Simeone|
|Luis Enrique wants new Barcelona signings in January|
|Barcelona great hails Messi, Suarez, Neymar|
|Mourinho plays down Vardy, Kane rumours|
|Hart ruled out for 10 days with hamstring injury|
|Valbuena ´more than disappointed´ with Benzema in sex-tape case|
|Norwich City v Arsenal: Wenger demands response after West Brom setback|
|Bilic urges reaction from ´angry´ West Ham|
|Sergi Roberto set to miss Barcelona´s Sociedad clash|
|Mason urges Kane to stay at Tottenham|
|Van Gaal: Nasty Vardy reminds me of Bergkamp|
|Hughes warns in-form Stoke are yet to click|
|Van Gaal ´not worried´ by Manchester United form|
|Jovetic credits hunger for Inter´s surprise Serie A lead|
|Bravo won´t leave Barcelona - Braida|
|Costa can match Messi and Ronaldo says ex-Gremio president|
|Caballero eyes redemption as City wait on Hart|
|Ryan: Valencia can challenge for trophies this season|
|Ranieri backs Martial to find form|
|Mane not leaving Southampton - Koeman|
|Valencia goalkeeper Ryan thankful to former coach Arnold|
|Wenger lauds remarkable ´lion´ Sanchez|
|Top spot not crucial for Klopp|
|Hamsik surprised by Napoli´s season|
|Allardyce open to Defoe sale|
|Breitenreiter pleased with Schalke character|
|Griffiths: Blame me for Celtic´s Europa League exit|
|Pochettino happy with Chelsea links to Kane|
|Europa League Review: Liverpool advance, Celtic crash out|
|We´re too easy to play against, laments Villa captain Richards|
|AC Milan v Sampdoria: Mihajlovic the focus ahead of San Siro clash|
|Ferdinand: Ferguson only wanted players with animal instinct at United|
|Klopp frustrated by Mignolet decision|
|Pochettino hails ´mature´ Spurs display|
|Celtic 1 Ajax 2: Late winner keeps De Boer´s men alive|
|Pioli eyes improvement after Lazio qualify for last 32|
|Liverpool 2 Bordeaux 1: Milner and Benteke ensure Europa League progression|
|Dortmund dominant in Krasnodar defeat, claims Tuchel|
|Atletico Madrid v Espanyol: Lopez looking for perfection on the road|
|CBF chief Marco Polo del Nero steps down from FIFA role|
|Qarabag 0 Tottenham 1: Kane header seals Europa League progression|
|Sturridge set for scan on foot injury|
|Barcelona v Real Sociedad: Rakitic puts winning run down to team spirit|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Troyes: Top against bottom in Ligue 1|
|United striker Wilson joins Brighton on loan|
|Mihajlovic abandoned me but Montella is the best, says Ferrero|
|Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin: Dardai out to stop Guardiola´s juggernaut|
|FC Krasnodar 1 Borussia Dortmund 0: Russians progress thanks to early penalty|
|Rode not planning Bayern exit|
|Koeman hopes ´dangerous´ Long can fill Pelle void|
|Aston Villa v Watford: Garde calls for support to end barren run|
|Crystal Palace v Newcastle United: Pardew dreaming of European football|
|Manchester City v Southampton: Koeman feels Pellegrini´s men can cope with criticism|
|La Liga president Tebas: Clasico was hard to watch|
|Sunderland v Stoke City: Allardyce calls for ´fight and grit´ after Palace success|
|Figures reveal further drop in football banning orders|
|AFC Bournemouth v Everton: Martinez cautions against complacency|
|Hughes urges Shawcross to forget England hopes|
|Leicester City v Manchester United: Top-of-the-table clash intrigues Ranieri|
|Rodriguez out for up to eight weeks|
|Ranieri: It will be hard to break down United´s defence|
|Allardyce hopeful on Defoe fitness|
|Ribery eyes Bayern return|
|Hamann tips Firmino to become a Liverpool star|
|Baines closing in on comeback - Martinez|
|Away fans in France banned from matches until mid-December|
|Azpilicueta: Chelsea on right track again|
|Rummenigge confident Bayern will not lose any key players|
|Deulofeu showing world-class talent, says Martinez|
|Sydney FC 0 Wellington Phoenix 0: Bore draw as hosts miss chance to go top|
|´Not of the professional standard´ - Garde drops Grealish|
|Real Madrid lead the way in World XI nominees|
|Ozil was a bargain at £40m - Wenger|
|FIFA donates returned CBF watches to charity|
|Sanchez could play against Norwich despite hamstring problem|
|Mourinho hopes to see Arsenal suffer Champions League elimination|
|Isco urges Madrid to learn from mistakes|
|Drogba claims Chelsea are lacking leaders|
|Juventus can hold their own against anyone - Buffon|
|Alleged match-fixer released from Singaporean jail|
|Le Tissier backs Ronaldo to play on like Giggs|
|Keane: Rooney looks awful and must do more|
|Rummenigge: Bayern relaxed over Guardiola future|
|Premier League Truce Tournament cancelled over Belgium safety concerns|
|Blanc: Ibrahimovic´s Malmo return was a distraction|
|Astana coach Stoilov delighted with Benfica draw|
|Shakhtar have ´mentality problems´ - bemoans coach Lucescu|
|Lovren vows to become Liverpool leader|
|Mason wants to cement England spot|
|Van Nistelrooy misses rivalry with ´obsessed´ Arsenal|
|Emery disappointed by Champions League campaign|
|Schubert eyeing Europa League spot|
|Cocu revels in PSV´s position after Old Trafford draw|
|Pellegrini questions Mandzukic winner|
|I lived a dream – Ibrahimovic|
|Allegri delighted after Juve seal progression|