Finally, TFC gets to play Beckham

Galaxy midfielder David Beckham speaks to reporters in Toronto on April 12, 2011. (ALEX...

Galaxy midfielder David Beckham speaks to reporters in Toronto on April 12, 2011. (ALEX UROSEVIC/QMI Agency)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

TORONTO - It took a lot longer than anybody expected, but international superstar David Beckham finally will take part in a meaningful game at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

This will be Beckham’s first league match in Toronto since joining Major League Soccer in 2007.

He missed the Galaxy’s Toronto’s encounter that year due to injury, the 2008 one because he was suiting up for England for a pair of friendlies and last season’s G20 weekend clash, also due to injury.

Beckham did play at BMO for the 2008 Major League Soccer all-star game and was spectacular against the Reds in a 2-0 win in Los Angeles in September of 2009, notching a goal, an assist and several brilliant chances.

It’s possible this will be the Englishman’s first — and last — regular season game here, but don’t be so sure.

Beckham has been in top form this season, setting up each of the Galaxy’s previous three goals — all via his trademark set-pieces — and has been extremely dangerous for a team that has badly needed what he can provide.

“If healthy and fit and into it, he can make a difference each and every day,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.

“He’s making progress and I think this could be a really good year for David.”

Beckham, the two-time runner-up for FIFA player of the year, told a large group of Toronto media on Tuesday morning that he hasn’t made up his mind about his MLS future yet.

“I haven’t made any decisions about what I’m going to do,” Beckham said.

He is still hoping for one more call to play for England and is also considering taking part in the 2012 Olympics in London.

“At the end of the day, I’m 35 years old and I’m getting older. We’ll see how my body feels at the end of the season.

“I still love the game like I did when I was 21 years old and I still feel fit, I look after myself. At the moment, there’s no reason for me to stop.”

Beckham set up L.A’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Washington on Saturday when his corner was headed in by Mike Magee.

But the Galaxy is still looking to score more than a single goal for the first time this season.

Expected to be a dangerous offensive club with Landon Donovan (who will not play for the second game in a row), Juan Pablo Angel, Beckham and others, instead, defensive-minded L.A. has been more plodding than powerful.

Beckham believes things are coming together, even minus Donovan.

“Whenever you’ve got a good player out, obviously you miss them. We did well in the last game (without Donovan) one of the best we played all season,” Beckham said.

Toronto and Los Angeles played to a pair of 0-0 draws last season.

The Galaxy will have a chance to pick up its offensive play against a Toronto side that has been shaky at times in that department so far.

Arena said the team wants to be the best regular season team again but also have success in the post-season.

“We want to end up on top of the league at the end of the year and in order to do that you need to win games on the road,” Arena said.

Beckham will surely play a part in that. He’s already been a huge help off the pitch.

Arena pointed out the Galaxy has sold out its first three road matches, something no other team can claim (though tickets for Wednesday’s clash remained available at press time).

Ex-Red Chad Barrett called Beckham a “living legend.”

A generous assessment to be sure, but few players create a buzz like Beckham.

And that has to count for something.


Videos

Photos