The David Beckham debut spectacle is finally over. Following three hours of all-Beckham pre-game coverage, 19 cameras and the mentioning of his name every 10-15 seconds, the L.A. Galaxy's new franchise man hobbled around bravely for 15 minutes to oohs and ahs and thunderous applause at his every touch (about 10 in all) before a celebrity-filled capacity crowd of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center.
After the game, Beckham said that the decision to play in the much-anticipated exhibition against Chelsea was made just hours before kickoff. Becks made no illusions about his injured left ankle: "with me not training all week and not even kicking a football and not even really running, to be honest, all I had done [this week] was some deep massage," but insisted, "I'm really pleased because I wanted to be out there and I [read: ESPN] put a lot emphasis on the game tonight." Beckham will most likely sit out this week's SuperLiga matches to ensure he's fit for his MLS debut against Toronto on Aug 5.
However, the good news is that the people got what they came for and Becks escaped without serious injury, despite Steve Sidwell's best efforts. As for Sidwell's tackle, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho explained: "It was with a kid who has just arrived at the club, he wanted to show me a lot. If it was with Lampard, there would probably have not been contact." Mourinho later praised Becks' performance: "It was a good game for Beckham because people in the U.S. saw that he could pass two, three, 40 meters, that his right foot has highs and it was also very good because they gave a difficult match to a team like Chelsea."