Title chase means Beckham isn’t looking past the postseason yet


AFP

LOS ANGELES–David Beckham is not thinking about whether his five-year stint with the Los Angeles Galaxy is nearing an end because he says he is too busy trying to win his first MLS title. “I haven’t even thought about what’s next,” said Beckham, after the Galaxy defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-1 to advance to the MLS semifinals. “Right now, I’m just thinking about the moment and winning a championship.” Beckham’s contract with the Galaxy is ending soon and the club have been to the semifinals twice in the last two years, losing both times. The Galaxy will battle Real Salt Lake on Sunday at the Home Depot Center stadium in south Los Angeles.

The side have 13 wins, no losses and five draws at home this season, but Sunday’s match will be their third in eight days. “The challenge for all teams left in the competition is fatigue, injuries, suspensions,” said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. “It’s difficult. It’s lot of games in short period of time and a lot of travel.” Beckham has not said where he wants to play after this season, with France’s Paris Saint-Germain and English Premier League sides Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers expressing interest. A new deal with the Galaxy is also an option. Thursday’s quarterfinal against the Red Bulls turned chippy at times with most of the incidents involving hard tackles on Beckham, who finished second in the league this season with 16 assists. The Englishman took a bad fall onto his back during an attempted header midway through the opening half and was also kicked in the ankles during a hard challenge by Red Bulls’ Luke Rodgers. Rodgers was slapped with a yellow card as players from both teams got into a shoving match.

Beckham set up the first Galaxy goal in the 42nd minute, sending a perfectly-placed corner kick in front of the New York goal for Mike Magee to head past goalkeeper Frank Rost to make it 1-1. American Landon Donovan scored the winner with a penalty in the 74th minute. “We started off badly. It wasn’t what we planned,” Beckham said. “The way we adjusted ourselves showed the character of this team.” The MLS final is scheduled for November 21.