The fact the Julian de Guzman -- speculated to be the second-highest paid designated player in the history of Major League Soccer -- was making his league debut may have fired up the highest-paid DP in league history.
Toronto FC's game against the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday in Carson, Calif., quickly turned into the David Beckham show. Becks had a goal, an assist, struck a post, and put in a very good overall display of passing and even tackling in the Galaxy's 2-0 win.
Beckham's goal came just nine minutes in, after he stepped around Amado Guevara and cut across de Guzman, making a former MLS MVP and Toronto's designated player look like, well, squirt players. The shot did strike goalkeeper Stefan Frei's hand, but he didn't get enough on the ball to direct it away from goal.
In the 83rd minute, after a Jim Brennan giveaway, Beckham danced down the sideline, leading what was a three-on-one-break with Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle. Beckham hit a low cross which Donovan one-touched to Buddle. The former Toronto FC player one-timed the ball into the goal.
"I was happy with my goal and I was happy with the assist I gave to Landon and Eddie," Beckham told MLSnet.com. "But I think it was the overall team performance that was exceptional."
De Guzman displayed some of his own ball-spraying talent in the 31st minute, when he sent a deft ball into the Los Angeles penalty area that fell at the feet of striker Ali Gerba. But Galaxy keeper Donovan Ricketts came up with a massive save on Gerba from point-blank range.
De Guzman looked to be cramping up at about the 80-minute mark, but TFC coach Chris Cummins already had used all three of his substitutions.
The loss hurts Toronto FC's bid to reach the MLS playoffs, but not as much as it could have. None of TFC's rivals for a playoff spot made a huge jump with a three-point result this weekend.