Beckham's Galaxy debut remains on hold

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Carson (California) July 22: David Beckham's hotly anticipated debut for Los Angeles Galaxy was put on hold when he was left out of his new team's starting line-up for yesterday's exhibition match against Chelsea.

The England midfielder, who has been struggling to recover from an injury to his left ankle, was one of seven substitutes named by Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop.

Although Beckham's ankle is still swollen and he does not want to run the risk of a setback, he is expected to come on for a cameo role late in the match.

''He won't play a big part in the game, we know that, but we are hoping he can get some time on the field,'' Yallop told reporters after a Galaxy training session on Friday.

''He is desperate to play and wants to make his stamp on why he came over here to play.'' Beckham, 32, played no part in Galaxy training on Thursday, instead spending his time with the team's physiotherapist and working out in the gym.

The former England captain, signed by the Galaxy from Real Madrid on a 32.5 million dollar five-year deal, twisted his ankle playing for his country against Estonia in a Euro 2008 qualifying match last month.

He aggravated it in his final appearance for Real 11 days later when his former team clinched the Spanish league title.

Saturday's game at the 27,000-capacity Home Depot Center is a sell-out and the Galaxy's second-highest grossing fixture since the MLS side hosted Real a year ago, with Beckham playing for the opposition.

The match is being televised by ESPN, who plan to use 19 cameras with one specifically earmarked to track the Galaxy's high-profile signing, should he make it on to the pitch.


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