Beckham to play for Galaxy in wildfires charity match

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Los Angeles, Oct 27: Los Angeles Galaxy fans will get one more chance to watch David Beckham in action this year at their home stadium when the former England captain plays in a charity match next month.

The Galaxy, whose dismal Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign ended on Sunday, will take on Hollywood United on November 4 to raise funds for the relief effort following this week's Southern California wildfires.

All proceeds, including donations collected on the day of the match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, will be given to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, the Galaxy said on Friday.

''We've all witnessed the destruction these wildfires have caused throughout Southern California,'' Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas said in a statement.

''Through soccer, we have the ability to help those who have been impacted by this disaster. We encourage all Galaxy fans and soccer fans everywhere to come out and support this worthy cause.'' Six days of relentless blazes from Los Angeles to the Mexican border have forced the evacuation of some 500,000 people from their homes.

The wildfires have left at least 12 people dead, blackened some 2,072 sq km in the region and destroyed 2,000 homes and other structures.


Beckham and US international Landon Donovan are expected to represent the Galaxy against a Hollywood line-up featuring Lalas and former World Cup players Frank Leboeuf of France and Richard Gough of Scotland.

One of soccer's the most recognisable figures, Beckham joined the Galaxy in July on a five-year contract that could potentially earn him a reported 250 million dollar, mainly from endorsements.

However, he played only 310 minutes in six games for his new team because of a nagging ankle injury before spraining his knee on Aug 29.

His first stint in the MLS ended on Sunday when the Galaxy lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire on the last day of the regular season, extinguishing their faint hopes of reaching the playoffs.

Beckham played the final 33 minutes but was unable to lift his team mates in a game that was goalless until former Manchester United trainee John Thorrington's goal in second-half stoppage time.

Although Beckham's sporadic appearances represented a poor return on his annual salary of 6.5 million dollar, he has already provided a significant boost in interest that the MLS was convinced he would bring to soccer in the United States.

Merchandising sales have risen dramatically, the profile of the game in the media has been enhanced and traffic to MLS's official Web site has doubled.


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