BY ADAM SERRANO
David Beckham is heading back to Manchester.
The LA Galaxy have decided to allow David Beckham to return to Manchester on Tuesday to play in Gary Neville's testimonal against Juventus and skip the Galaxy match against Houston on Wednesday.
The match will be Beckham's first match in a Manchester United uniform since leaving the club in 2003 to join Spanish giant Real Madrid and it will be the third time that Beckham has missed a match this season.
Beckham has drawn a great deal of criticism for missing time with the Galaxy in the past, but made an assertion after the match that the Galaxy are supportive of him missing the match against Houston on Wednesday. Following the club's 1-0 victory over Chivas USA, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stated that the decision was his, not Beckham's.
"That decision has been made. It’s my responsibility so if you want to throw darts, the darts should be thrown at me," said Arena. "I’m the person that has to accept the responsibility with that decision and I think it’s the right one to make."
During his postgame press conference, Arena stated that the Galaxy were planning to rest Beckham in the Houston match regardless of this request as the midfielder picked up a thigh injury in the club's victory over Sporting KC last week.
The relationship that the two former members of Manchester United is a long one that stretches back to their teenage days. Neville was Beckham's best man for his wedding and the pair have remained close since coming up together in the Manchester United youth system.
Beckham has taken a great deal of criticism, the midfielder — who on Saturday took a share of the league lead in assists — fired back by stating that it was very important to be at the match for Neville
“To be there for him, for his family, that's important,” Beckham said. “Because it was such an important era for us and for Manchester United, and if Sir Alex Ferguson hadn't given us the chance when we were all young, we wouldn't have been able to create what we all created.”
Beckham stated that he believes that his hard-nosed former coach would have had the same response as his current one, simply out of respect for the history that exists between the former players.
“He would have done it, without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Beckham said. “Because he knows the history, he knows that when you play in a club for so many years, and it's special to people, it's soccer. It's sports. People respect that. "
The Galaxy midfielder will likely not play more than a half in the match due to travel and the Galaxy match on the weekend. Following the testimonal, Beckham will travel back to Boston where he will meet up with the Galaxy squad that will take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
If this was a regular league where the champion is the team that gets the most points in the regular season…then Galaxy shouldn’t let him go.
But…guys…come on (and I hate the Galaxy)…the regular season means little, the galaxy will qualify 1 or 2 in the west regardless of whether they win this next game…and Becks gets a chance to honor a long time friend.
Nothing to see here guys…those that are talking crap are just off….
it’s getting tedious listening to Becks explain to the world how much more important all the events on his social calendar are than his job, which is to play professional soccer games for the Galaxy. In his four previous seasons he’s only managed to play more than half the scehdule’s games ONCE. He didn’t miss the Dallas game but no one can argue that he was in peak condition for that game, and he needed to be “rested” for a subsequent game. This, a player always known for his engine and supposedly “slumming” in a joke league. Unfortunately the former “model professional” is now more use as a “professional model”. Clearly he’s saying that playing in MLS games and earning his 5 million + salary is NOT a priority. What’s next? Missing training and games for “massive” occasions like celebrity birthday parties (“it’s important for Scary that I’m there, birthdays don’t come along every year, you know….”) or movie premieres, or two for one burger day at In & Out?
This makes MLS look like a joke. Would bigger teams from bigger leagues allow their most important players to miss real matches for exhibitions?
Your right, so change the name from cobi jones to jovan kirovski. I think it’s classy of arena, but I highly doubt fergie would be ok with it. If it was not a constant thing with beckham, then I think people would be way more lenient.
Carpetbagger Beckham has been treating MLS like his personal prison b***h from Day 1. The only amazing thing is that the Charlie Browns of MLS keep believing really, really, really hard that his Lucy won’t pull the football away this time.
I don’t really see this as that big of a deal. It’s a ceremonial match to honor and old, close friend, and Arena is doing the right thing in letting him go. Nobody is going to be out there slide tackling in this game or coming in high with studs up…it’s a testimonial folks! The people on here who say he’s risking injury and potentially hurting the Galaxy are being a touch melodramatic…
The criticism when he went on loan to Milan and discussed going on loan to Tottenham was more well-founded.
Sorry I’m not a reporter. I’m just a commenter on a stupid sports blog. Chill.
thats stupid, if he were still at united then he wouldnt even know who Cobi Jones is
I really don’t care about Beckham or the Galaxy, and I won’t attack the character of either.
Beckham brought positive attention to the league when he arrived, but since then, he has only reinforced the perception that MLS doesn’t matter. In totality, I think he has harmed the league’s reputation more than he has helped it.
It’s not really his fault. He is too big for this league as it is right now, and he didn’t realize until he got here. I just hope he’s gone sooner than later.
If Arena already made the decision not to play him midweek and approves of Beckham playing in Neville’s testimonial, who cares? And in all likelihood, a guy in his mid-30’s is not going to play two matches in the span of half a week anyway.
I have no problem with this….I think it was a classy move by Arena to allow Becks to go.
Let me help you out with your difficulty.
How about because Becks has used every excuse in the book to get out of his contract with the Galaxy ever since he effing signed it. He chose to wilfully miss the first half of two seasons in a row by going on loan and staying at Milan and pitched a fit to try and stay there permanently. Of course, that second season there resulted in a horrific injury that cost him even more games with the Galxy so he played only 10 games last year. Then, after saying he would not go on loan again, what does he do but go train during the offseason and then try to turn it into a loan. Since Galasy finally said no, he still chose to stay an extra 2 or 3 weeks while his real teammates were training, supposedly so he’d be fitter when he got back. Problem is, he was the least fit member of the team when he finally came back.
Then by golly he’s got to run off for a wedding. Came back, didn’t play very well and then got rested, so there’s another game he’s missed. Now he wants to go and play in a pretend game while missing a real game on Wednesday. If he needed rest, rest doesn’t come by flying halfway around the world, playing in a soccer match and then flying back. He’ll need resting again after that. So that will be 2 more games.
If this testimonial were the first time, then no problem, it’s understandable. But it just one more time he shows us where his priorities are, and it’s not with his real team, the Galaxy.
If you were a real fan of the Galaxy it would be a big deal! In any other league around the world you wouldn’t see a club let one of their top players go for such a match! If Arena says it was his call to let him go than he’s an idiot to for allowing him to go. Taking a risk of one of your top players to get hurt during the hunt for a league title (which we have yet to win since he’s been here!) just sounds Mickey Mouse to me. I understand the importance of personal friendships and you should charish those relationships. If Becks is a real professional getting paid real $ to play in a real league for a real championship he should honor that real contract and show some real committment!
It’s quite obvious that Beckham plays for the Galaxy only when it’s convenient for him to do so. You can’t exactly expect loyalty, but, if you pay him (and a lot of money at that), you should expect that he will make himself available to play in every one of the the team’s games (barring injury, family commitments, or national team service). To me, he’s a total fraud. I feel bad for Donovan, Arena and the rest of the Galaxy. Yes, he’s a big star, but I think the MLS is mature enough at this point that they don’t need divas like Beckham.
“Some animals are more equal”,
Napoleon, animal farm.
Wonder if he was playing for ManU right now Sir Alex would let him take off a game for Cobi Jones testimonial match.
He would tell Beckham you could go but don’t come back.
If he had shown an absolute commitment to the team in the past then I doubt anyone would have a problem. The truth is that he has a history of treating the Galaxy, and MLS, as if he is doing them a giant favor.
Because of a general lack of loyalty, he hasn’t earned the right to miss league games.
Could you imagine a player in any other league doing this? Would Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant miss a league game for an exhibition match?
The real question is: Has David Beckham increased or decreased MLS’s credibility as a serious professional soccer league?
I think it’s latter. How many days until this mistake leaves and signs with Bolton?
The real question is if Fulham were in a relegation battle would Dempsey have taken off for a Testimonial?
The regular season is a long relegation battle towards the playoffs.
“He already missed a match for the Royal Wedding.”
Sigh… This is FALSE. He went to the Royal Wedding, but he did NOT miss a match, at least not MLS. The wedding was on 4/29. Beckham played on 4/23, 5/1, and 5/7. The full 90 minutes each game.
Do you not have a problem with making incorrect statements as though they are indisputable facts? Personally I think that’s a slightly more disturbing issue than Beckham missing one game for his best friend’s retirement.
It’s frustrating for sure, but this is a non-issue if the Galaxy win.
I’d do anything for my best friend, including missing work. So, I have no problem with this. Him missing the training camp was a bigger deal IMHO.
For all the criticism Bruce has had of the league over the years (much of it I agreed with), he has now lost all credibility. Arena and Beckham are telling fans that not every game matters in MLS. This is something we already know, but the league wants us to believe that every game counts.
The question looking forward 6-7 years is will he be back to play in Landon’s testimonial game? Or Grant Wahl’s 🙂
Count me among the ‘fanboys’ who see to real issue with a ‘charity’ game on a Tuesday prior to a Saturday game. Plus last time out Stephans looked really good in the middle with Juninho…still need to build up some minutes in the subs for the long season…
It’s his best friends testimonial. It’s on a Tuesday. MLS regular season games aren’t what that meaningful for top clubs, especially this early. Of course he should go play.
He already missed a match for the Royal Wedding. He went there for social reasons (to be seen). I have a hard time believing he’s real tight with the Prince. Had he not skipped out then, this would probably be a non-issue. Why doesn’t he just skype the bloke and send him a gift?
He also skipped another game but I can’t remember what for? Anyone?
Can someone tell me how Peter Nowak got away with going to Poland for a charity match and skipping the Union / LA game a week and half ago. I didn’t think that was right at all. I know it’s for a good cause but this is your profession and a lot of people are counting on you.
I have a difficult time believing that people give Beckham a hard time. To take a day or week to help a friend out is to be respected. What would happen if he was ill or injured or worse, retires? What then, are we to hold him to the fire? Get over it!
Bruce is lame and Becks is a disgrace. And Becks’ fanboys are sooooo freakin’ annoying.
I am also missing 1/30 of my work days this year to attend a friend’s retirement party – what’s wrong with that?
Also, this just in, Dempsey is missing today’s game v. Arsenal to attend a Jay Heaps testimonial.
I have no problem with Beckham missing a midweek game for his best friend’s testimonial. He has been fantastic for the Galaxy this season, and continued his great form with a game-winning assist last night.
But, everyone’s opinion of Arena/Beckham’s decision will change if he freakishly ruptures his ACL or something…
[Not] a really big deal.
His job is to play soccer for the Galaxy just like everyone else on their team. Missing games for social events is a really big deal.
Please tell me the Galaxy dock some of his pay for this. If he gets paid by the MLS to go do this that is pathetic.
I hate the Galaxy but people seriously need to get off Beckham’s back over every little thing. Dude has a bunch of assists, there are more appropriate whipping boys out there. Back when he was going off to Europe and getting injured he deserved everything he got, but right now he is playing and contributing. Missing a mid-week game isn’t a huge deal when he played this weekend and will play again next weekend.
This is kinda his Man U testimonial, had he never left he would have been in the same shoes as Neville, Giggs, and Scholes.
If Bruce is behind then why punish Beckham for it. Let the guy have his day to reminisce.