x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Beckham's LA torment continues with red card

The midfielder is given his first straight red card in his MLS career during the Los Angeles Galaxy's 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders.

David Beckham trudges off the pitch after his red card for LA Galaxy in their 2-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders.
David Beckham trudges off the pitch after his red card for LA Galaxy in their 2-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders.

David Beckham was sent off for a studs-up challenge in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer on Saturday night. Beckham slid into a tackle on Seattle midfielder Peter Vagenas, hooking his right ankle and bringing his former Galaxy teammate down. Referee Ricardo Salazar immediately issued the red card, and while Beckham did not offer much of an argument before leaving the field in the 17th minute, he later disputed the straight red.

"Pete's one of my best friends," Beckham, who was famously sent off for England against Argentina in the second round of the 1998 World Cup in France, said after the game. "I've never gone into one tackle wanting to hurt someone. It was a hard tackle, but by no means a red card." It was Beckham's first straight red card in his MLS career and his second sending off. The red card carries an automatic suspension that will force the midfielder to miss Los Angeles' match at Chicago on Wednesday.

"With the way he came in hard, I could see how the referee would determine it likely was a dangerous tackle," LA coach Bruce Arena said. "When you throw yourself into that kind of tackle, there's a chance you're going to get sent off." There were three sendings off in the match. Seattle's Tyrone Marshall received his second yellow card in the 78th minute, and Los Angeles' Eddie Lewis was shown a straight red seconds later, reducing the Galaxy to nine men.

Landon Donovan, diagnosed with swine flu on Thursday, entered the game at the start of the second half. Beckham has received a mixed reception from LA fans since his return to MLS, as they were upset at the length of his loan move to AC Milan in Italy's Serie A last season. However, the former England captain received a show of support on Saturday, being cheered during the naming of the starting lineup while one banner behind the south goal at the Home Depot Centre read: "Welcome Back Beckham."

The LA Riot Squad, the group of hardcore fans who displayed anti-Beckham banners when the Galaxy played Milan last month, unveiled no messages and did not boo Beckham as a unit. * AP