CARSON, Calif -- There was much speculation Saturday night on whether coach Bruce Arena would play David Beckham, and in the 70th minute of play we got our answer.
Immediately after the midfielder arrived to the fourth office the crowd at the Home Depot Center erupted in an uproar at this much anticipated event.
Becks played for 20 minutes as the rust progressively flew off him and managed to get booked for reckless tackle.
"I haven’t been out of the game for such a long time," said the Englishman. "To get back out there, after just under six months— it has been a quick recovery— I am happy with that. I still have to obviously do a lot of hard work but being out there for 20 minutes felt good.”
His experience with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and the English National Team brings a lot to the Galaxy side. His overall presence elevates the team to new heights.
"David’s presence helps our team in the locker room, on the training field and on game day," said Arena. "It is remarkable that he is back on the field in this short period of time. September 15th is six months, and at his age,to put in the kind of effort to come back and for the players to see that is inspirational to the team."
Coaches and players alike confessed at the new possibilities bestowed on the team with Beckham's comeback.
"With his experience I think he will do well no matter what situation he is thrown in," said Edson Buddle. "He is going to take some time to get match fit but his experience is going to be key going into the playoffs."
Though there was some conflict last year when captain Landon Donovan questioned Beckham's commitment to the Galaxy and MLS, this year there was nothing but praise.
"I think we all believe that getting (David) back is going to be the best addition any team can make, "confessed Donovan. "At this point, if we play well, we are going to have a lot of players fighting for positions and it is nice to have a guy like him, not only on the field. But having another guy with his leadership helps a lot.”
Before the matchup with the play-off contending Crew, Arena had some questions on if and/or when to sub in the midfielder. But after leading the game 3-love going into the 70th minute, all signed said 'go.'
"This was probably the best case scenario: winning 3-0 or losing 3-0," explained the coach. "Probably the best kind of situation to put him in. I'm happy it was 3-0 in our favor."
Beckham and his coach shared a brain on this situation.
"That was a perfect situation for me really,” said Beckham. “The players had done so well through the game and it made it easier for me to come on. The pace was still a high tempo but it obviously calmed down. We’d kind of won the game by then and we played hard. It was a perfect situation for me to come on."
Even though it was a perfect situation for Becks to come in, Arena wanted to play it safe and offer him less playing time. “He came up to me and he said ‘How about 10 to 15 minutes? We want to get a good 10 to 15 minutes,’" stated the Englishman, "and I was like, ‘Well how about 20-25?’ So he kind of listened to me and we met in the middle and he put me on for 20 minutes.”
Beckham thought he could have played all 90 minutes. He wanted to play 90 minutes. But the star midfielder confessed that he was dying on the pitch 10 minutes in.
He still was a lot of work to do to get game fit and by the looks of it, it will take some time before we get 90 minutes out of the veteran. Next game, expect 30 minutes out of him.