Beckham held out of Galaxy-Union game

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Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

With his team going through a tough stretch of the schedule, Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has elected to keep one of his Designated Players at home for the mid-week trip to Philadelphia.

David Beckham has been left in California to rest while his teammates face the Union at PPL Park Wednesday night. Arena suggested to reporters that the decision was not injury-related but more so in preparation for a stretch of three games in seven days.

The Galaxy faced the New York Red Bulls this past Saturday night, faces the Union on Wednesday and returns home to square off against Sporting Kansas City this Saturday.

The 36-year-old Beckham assisted on the only goal in Galaxy's earlier meeting with the Union on a free kick that Leonardo headed home in Los Angeles' 1-0 victory on April 2.

What do you think about Arena's decision? Did you plan on going to the game with hopes of seeing Beckham play? Think it's the right move considering the schedule?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Philadelphia Union. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Beckham held out of Galaxy-Union game

  1. AJ says:

    WTF? I picked to go to this game so that my friends who have lived a soccer free lifestyle could identify one player on the pitch.

    I realize Bruce Arena didn’t have me in mind when making this decision, but its kind of a bummer. Its hard to wonder what he did have in mind though. Giving an old midfielder a rest makes sense when you’re in a stretch of six games in 21 days, but resting him against the league’s best defense on the road when you’re hosting Kansas City and playing “on the road” at Chivas USA next makes no sense to me.

  2. bubbles says:

    considering all three goals conceded by the union have been off of set pieces… advantage union.

  3. jonk says:

    After reading your first paragraph I thought you were crafting a nice bit of satire…sadly that was not the case.

    By the way, getting new fans excited about one guy on the opposing team is a great way to make them come back to one of the other 16 home games. Don’t worry about getting them pumped to see young guns like Torres, Okugo, Mac and Mwanga or bonafide MLS studss like LeToux, Mondragon, Valdes, etc. That’d be foolish.

  4. Graham Fox says:

    Something is going on beneath the surface here…

  5. AD22 says:

    Because the Galaxy’s the only team in the league with 3 games in such a short time frame. The Union will have played Portland/LA/Dallas over an 8-day stretch. Poor baby.

  6. Phil says:

    no way Graham. the dude is a lot older than his hairline suggests. Perhaps Arena is taking an educated guess that of all the matches where he stands to earn points in the next three weeks Philly in Philly is not one of them. I for one and very happy about this little present.

  7. jonk says:

    I look forward to seeing Philly trot out the exact same starting 11 every one of those games…

    Of course obviously they wouldn’t, even if they weren’t dealing with injuries and card suspensions.

  8. Ian says:

    Jonk, is it that difficult to comprehend people whose only soccer reference is Beckham? This is America, after all. Not discounting the talent on the field in Philly, Beckham is Beckham.

  9. lurking says:

    KC fans can’t be happy….

  10. Hopper says:

    He’s 36. Not 66. Just play baby.

  11. Jake Oliver says:

    MLS really has to do a better job scheduling. Scheduling 3 games in 7 days is tough enough and having to play the 2nd three time zones away is nuts. MLS teams do more traveling than their European counterparts to begin with, but the league should really make it easier on them by scheduling “road trips,” like we see in hockey, basketball and baseball. There are enough teams in the Northeast/Mid Atlantic region that the Galaxy shouldn’t have to trek across the country to play only one match.

  12. Jake Oliver says:

    just look at the Red Bulls schedule over the next 3 weeks and tell me that’s not insane: In LA, home to Chivas, in Houston, home to Colorado, in Vancouver.

  13. jonk says:

    Nevermind the fact that I find it perfectly reasonable to sit a 36 year old after he played 3 days earlier with another game 3 days later, I looked up the Gals schedule and they are in a 6 games in 21 day stretch. Sat, Wed, Sat, Sat, Wed, Sat. Soooo, there ya go.

  14. Sentu says:

    No excuse for him to stay home…He is a world class athlete that should be playing at least a half. This is a slap in the the face to Philly fans. I think Philly can pull off the upset here….Who is Backs likely replacement by Arena? Probably the terrible Jovan Kirovski!

  15. Rory says:

    We know what is really going on… Arena has seen what has happened to creative midfielders in this league lately and is throwing up the blood above the door to ensure the spirit of broken legs passes over the house of the Galaxy.

  16. Jeremy says:

    You think that NY has the only schedule like that?

  17. jonk says:

    Everyone has stretches like that. And everyone will be resting players when they need to. Why should LA or NY have to manage their team differently just because they have some big names on the roster?

  18. Rageman says:

    Maybe he should have tried to get into better shape during the long MLS off-season. Possibly train with a club that was still in mid-season form, if he’s lucky, train with a club that is good enough to be in UEFA CL contention.

    Man, things could have been so different if it all went down that way.

  19. drew says:

    I believe the point Jake Oliver was making is not that NY and LA have harder schedules, but that the MLS as a whole should work on its scheduling to try to avoid having teams criss-crossing the country every weekend.

  20. Chango says:

    LOL

  21. josh says:

    It is crazy how much hate Beckham generates. I am going to trust Bruce Arena on giving Beckham a break. I mean I am die hard Galaxy fan, and if anyone should be upset it is the Galaxy supporters.

    I am okay if he needs a break now because were going to need him big time come June, when Landon is at the Gold Cup.

  22. josh says:

    I think the galaxy will more likely put Chris Birchall in his place in the lineup. We will see though.

  23. Mhat says:

    Hahahaha nice one.

  24. Jess says:

    Galileo thought the Earth revolved around the sun, well he never met David Beckham.

  25. Todd Marsch says:

    As a neutral going to the game tomorrow, I am disappointed Beckham isn’t playing, even though I am not a big fan of his. Not living in an MLS city (Pittsburgh), I usually pick an interesting game or two a year to go to in places that are driving distance. Seeing Beckham play was a factor in me choosing this game, but I will still be happy to see Donovan, LeToux, Gonzalez, and Barrett.

    That being said, I can certainly understand Arena’s decision from a coaching standpoint. Even if the season isn’t as long or as demanding as Europe, the Galaxy has a lot of games between CCL, league play, and, presumably, playoffs. It makes sense to rest your key players here and there.

  26. T-Ma says:

    LOL! Just as bad and would be typical Arena.

  27. Expy says:

    I would never be happy to see a hack like Barrett unless it’s in USL. LA is in trouble here.

  28. TommyOC says:

    Yeah… he’s 36, playing in a sport where your physical peak is closer to 20, and your “all-around” peak is closer to 28.

    Oh, and he’s working on a rebuilt Achilles tendon… which for a 20-year-old would be a remarkable comeback.

  29. TommyOC says:

    So.. the Galaxy managing their resources in a way that displeases you is a slap in your face?

    Bruce Arena and the Los Angeles Galaxy owe Philadelphia fans (and by extension, you) NOTHING.

    If anything, you’re slapping your fellow Philly fans (and your team) in the face by suggesting the only reason you’re interested in the game is because Beckham was “supposed” to be there!

  30. TommyOC says:

    The Galaxy have a better record WITHOUT Beckham than with.

    The danger to the Union remains.

  31. Matt S says:

    Are LA trying to get the season over by the All Star game? After this game they will be 3,4, and even 5 games ahead of some teams in the league. Whats this about?

  32. Smits says:

    midseason trip to London is apparently no problem for Becks, so why is this a problem?

  33. galaxyfan says:

    Yeah but it is MLS not a high level league like EPL, La Liga, or Serie A. He should be able to play. He probably is making an appearance in Hollywood and told Bruce that he couldn’t make it.

  34. AJ says:

    Actually Jonk, over the last five weeks since we got the tickets I have been letting them know about all of the players from both teams. They know that they should have already known who Landon Donovan is. They know about Fayrd Mondragon’s time with Galatasaray. They know that Chris Birchall is the first white dude to represent T&T in over 60 years. They even know that when we’re ducking for cover 15 rows behind the goal that someone tee’d up a sitter for Chad Barrett. If they were paying attention, they also know about Salt Lake’s run in the CONCACAF Champion’s League and the Benny Feilhaber sweepstakes.

    There’s also the minor detail where Beckham is the second best player involved in the match after Donovan. If you’re dropping $35 on a ticket and bringing a bunch of friends to their first soccer match, wouldn’t you want all of the top talent out there?

  35. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Perception-wise, it didn’t help that he flew off to London for the party and flew back to play a match in HOuston.

  36. LIUnited says:

    Smart Managing by Bruce Arena. Anyone notice that Giggs and Scholes get plenty of rest. Anyone notice that Sir Alex rolled out the B squad for the second leg (midweek) with Shalke? I believe Rooney and Rio did not even dress. This happens all the time in soccer espeically with older players and midweek fixtures. It’s like resting your catcher for the day game after a night game.

  37. CorkSoccer says:

    I know my wife’s disappointed…

  38. Graeme says:

    With all due respect, EPL players have 38 games in their season + UEFA CC or Europa which have taken them upwards of 60 in some instances. The MLS season is “grueling” because of the travel, not the amount of games. Beckham can step it up and play 15 minutes as a substitute for the sake of the league and his $6+ million in guaranteed funds.