Beckham coming to T.O.?

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Toronto FC fans might get to see David Beckham on the pitch at BMO Field on May 31 after all.

The soccer superstar's status with the Los Angeles Galaxy -- which is scheduled to play TFC that day -- was put in doubt two days ago when England coach Fabio Capello named Beckham to a 30-man roster for two exhibition matches.

England plays the U.S. at Wembley Stadium on May 28 then travels to play Trinidad and Tobago on June 1 for a second friendly.

DIFFERENT LINEUP

A Major League Soccer insider told Sun Media yesterday that it is expected that Capello will use a different starting 11 against Trinidad and Tobago, freeing up Beckham to play in Toronto.

"It is not unusual for a coach to make major roster changes in back-to-back friendlies," the insider said.

As for TFC coach John Carver, he said that it wouldn't bother him a bit if Beckham missed the Toronto match.

"When we played them (a 3-2 TFC win on Apr. 13) he was their best player," Carver said.

"So if he's not playing that's fine with me.

"But I would feel bad for our fans who would like to see him play."

Carver said that TFC is in a somewhat unique situation among MLS teams in that Beckham's presence really doesn't affect the team's gate receipts.

"We are going to have 20,000 fans here regardless," Carver said.

Carver added that Beckham almost certainly will be on the MLS all-star roster that plays against West Ham United at BMO on July 24.

Carver also said that MLS should consider limiting the number of friendly international matches it allows its players to take part in.

"We've got eight players of our starting 11 who could potentially all be asked to play for their national teams this summer," Carver said.

"That could be a catastrophe."

The eight TFC players who also play on their home national teams are: Jim Brennan and Greg Sutton (Canada); Maurice Edu and Marvell Wynne (United States); Amado Guevara (Honduras); Carl Robinson (Wales); Marco Velez (Puerto Rico) and Olivier Tebily (Ivory Coast).

Carver suggested the MLS should do what the Premier League does: If two or more players are called upon to play an international game, that team's league games are postponed.

"Having (Beckham) picked again to play for England increases our credibility in the international soccer community," the MLS insider said.

Meanwhile, a TFC road game against Houston Dynamo, scheduled for June 7 has been moved to June 8 with an 8:30 p.m. kickoff because of an event conflict.


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