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'
|Lille 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Cavani strike the difference|
|Zidane urges patience with Modric injury|
|From Bundesliga to WWE, ex-goalkeeper says wrestling makes him fitter than football|
|Mourinho: Focus on fans helped United beat City|
|Hamann questions Mourinho over ´strange´ Mkhitaryan treatment|
|Wiese: Wrestling makes me fitter than football|
|Giggs: Liverpool would not stop at one Premier League title|
|Ferguson´s gesture a special memory for Defour|
|Inter ´100 per cent´ behind De Boer|
|A-League Review: Melbourne City triumph over Adelaide|
|Juventus v Napoli: Higuain faces ´angry´ former club in crunch clash|
|Ronaldo wishes he scored wondergoal for Madrid, not Barca|
|Unlike Mourinho, Guardiola is happy in Manchester|
|Pochettino dismisses Aguero links|
|´Annoyed´ Muller to stop taking penalties for Bayern|
|Luis Enrique: Critics frustrated by Guardiola´s success|
|Ronaldo does not try to intimidate referees - Kuipers|
|Weinzierl excited for first Ruhr derby|
|Phelan urges Hull to take cup form into Premier League|
|No problem with Kompany - Guardiola|
|Mkhitaryan not injured but still needs time, says Mourinho|
|Moyes claims Sunderland are improving|
|Pochettino: Title race could go to final day|
|Guardiola: Real Madrid don´t need a manager like me|
|Tuchel eager for ´cup final´ atmosphere in Ruhr derby|
|Conte insists title talk is dangerous|
|Dancing panda Patrice Evra can´t bear to see racism go unchallenged|
|Everton boss Koeman would relish Rooney return|
|Benteke threat worries Klopp|
|James backs Southgate for full-time England job|
|Ancelotti unconcerned by Lewandowski, Muller droughts|
|Bilic frustrated by crowd trouble as London Stadium ´felt like home´|
|Luis Enrique defends Barcelona in LaLiga disciplinary row|
|Premier League title fight will go to the wire - Cech|
|Simeone ignoring Premier League rumours|
|Klopp: I like Ferguson, is that allowed?|
|Begovic claims Chelsea did not rub in Mourinho win|
|´Genius´ Ronaldo is not anxious - Zidane|
|Allegri defends Higuain´s form ahead of Napoli return|
|Wenger hopes West Ham act to avoid stadium ban|
|Bilic credits players for West Ham´s revival|
|Pardew urges concentration to combat in-form Liverpool|
|Howe wants Cherries´ away form to blossom|
|Scholl slams Golden Boy Sanches|
|Pulis signs contract extension at West Brom|
|Ballon d´Oh! Wenger highlights disdain for award with Ozil gaffe|
|Liverpool must be ´angry´ to beat teams at the bottom - Can|
|Perez blow for Arsenal with striker facing eight weeks out|
|Neymar the victim of a media campaign - Rafinha|
|Cannavaro dreams of Real Madrid job|
|Alonso lauds Klopp for embracing Liverpool culture|
|Barcelona report LaLiga chief Tebas to sports court|
|MLS Review: Late goal from Valdez sees Sounders through, Impact rout DC|
|Saul committed to Simeone and Atletico|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Cannavaro|
|Shaw eager to earn Mourinho´s trust at United|
|Neymar playing for Barca because of Messi, says father|
|Jardim questions Falcao´s stints at United and Chelsea|
|Berardi will get Italy call when system changes - Ventura|
|Lucas Vazquez delighted by ´dream´ Madrid deal|
|Scottish FA chief backs cross-border competition|
|Dortmund need Reus - Aubameyang|
|Lamela eyeing new Spurs deal|
|Tighter Watford matches are a coincidence, says Mazzarri|
|Karanka: We saved Boro from League One|
|Police investigate homophobic leaflet at West Ham|
|Spain could recall Villa, reveals Lopetegui|
|Hughes backs Bony to break Stoke duck|
|Sarri will greet Higuain ´like a son who made him angry´|
|Robben receives Netherlands recall|
|Dyche considering Gray recall for Burnley|
|Zidane was behind one of my best seasons, says Ronaldo|
|Schweinsteiger absent from United squad photo|
|Emery emphasises Thiago Silva´s importance amid Juve links|
|Ferguson: Leicester will make deep Champions League run|
|Ranieri hails ´special´ Ballon d´Or nominations for Vardy and Mahrez|
|Emery: PSG cannot rely solely on Cavani goals|
|Mourinho can match Guardiola, insists Ferguson|
|Ferguson hails Klopp: Liverpool are strong title contenders now|
|Bayern optimistic over Lewandowski renewal|
|Zubizarreta appointment confirmed by Marseille|
|Clichy: Things will click into place for Manchester City|
|Chiellini: Juventus wanted to send a message|
|Gabigol´s time will come - De Boer|
|Ronaldo: Messi and I are not friends - but we respect each other|
|Earthquake halts play in Serie A game between Pescara and Atalanta|
|Mourinho charged over Taylor comments|
|Ronaldo: I need my haters|
|Badstuber hopeful injury woes behind him|
|Kroos did not want to be rested, insists Zidane|
|Rojo was phenomenal - Mourinho|
|Seven arrests made after West Ham - Chelsea fan clashes|
|Florenzi injury blow for Roma|
|MLS Review: Galaxy, Toronto into semis|
|Beister: Victory move surprised people|
|Bilic: Cup run will help in Premier League|
|Pjaca out for up to three weeks|
|Trophies still the focus for Guardiola|
|Mignolet wants ´fair´ Karius battle|
|Ancelotti impressed by motivated Bayern|
|West Ham ´unreservedly condemn´ crowd trouble|
|Allegri praises strike duo after win over Sampdoria|
|De Boer praises two-goal Icardi after vital win|
|Chelsea were ´unlucky´ with missed chances, insists Conte|
|Mourinho: I´ve never had fans like these|