for this game

Beckham sits as Galaxy, Toronto FC play to draw

Aug 6, 2007 - 4:47 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- David Beckham again was a spectator as the Los Angeles Galaxy resumed their Major League Soccer campaign with a goalless draw against Toronto FC on Sunday night at BMO Field.

Beckham had all but ruled himself out of a place in the Galaxy squad 24 hours earlier, as he had failed to recover from an ankle injury sustained in June playing for England and aggravated in Real Madrid's push for La Liga title.

"He ran a bit more today and the ankle felt a little bit looser than yesterday," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said. "I don't want to say he's healed and he'll be available for the game on Thursday but we'll see.

"We've got a couple of days until that game (against D.C. United) and we'll see how he responds after the bit of work he did today. He's getting better."

To the disappointment of a BMO Field record crowd of 20,522, Beckham's prediction proved correct, and although he took a seat on the Galaxy bench before kickoff, he was dressed in a suit and tie.

"You know, it was a game of (soccer)," Toronto midfielder Carl Robinson said. "Obviously with David Beckham coming in to Toronto it was a big media thing and stuff like that.

"People want to see him, he's a world class superstar, he's a world class player. Fortunately for us he didn't play tonight and I'm glad he didn't play you know, hopefully he will play next week, people want to pay to watch him and pay to watch quality players and that's what he is."

The Galaxy came into the game following a thrilling 6-5 SuperLiga victory over FC Dallas on Tuesday but it was Toronto, missing eight first-choice players through injury, which had much the better of the match.

Mo Johnston's side not only created the better chances but also stopped the visitors from finding their rhythm in their first home match followed a six-game road trek.

"I think the amount of chances we had tonight, we should have had three points," Johnston said. "I felt we were the better team.

An in-swinging corner form the left by Welsh international Carl Robinson in the fifth minute caused problems for the Galaxy defense when Toronto defender Tyrone Marshall rose above them to send a glancing header just past the far post.

And goalkeeper Joe Cannon had defender Ty Harden to thank for clearing off his line when Toronto striker Andrea Lombardo nudged the ball over his head as he rushed from his goal to collect a Todd Dunivant through ball.

The Galaxy were again caught out in the eighth minute when Dunivant again put through Lombardo. The striker slotted the ball beyond Cannon and into the net but it was ruled offside.

The first attack from the Galaxy came four minutes later when captain Landon Donovan cut inside from the left and sent a reverse pass in to Alan Gordon, who went down under a challenge from Marco Reda before he managed to shoot.

Toronto's constant pressure when the Galaxy had possession had a physical edge and Donovan was unhappy with a Robinson challenge in the 16th minute. Yet it was two Galaxy names that went into the referee's book first, Troy Roberts and Kelly Gray in the 18th and 25th minutes, respectively.

A crude challenge from Robinson on Donovan, however, ensured the Toronto midfielder joined them in the 33rd minute.

With the game scoreless at the break, Yallop tried to freshen things up by replacing right-back Roberts with winger Kyle Martino. But Toronto was still the more potent going forward, with captain Jim Brennan firing a left-foot shot from long range that Cannon was forced to push round his post in the 52nd minute.

Kevin Harmse already had become the third Galaxy player in the book for a foul on Chris Pozniak and teammate Ante Jazic followed him in an otherwise eventful second half.

"In the end it's good to get a point. I thought Toronto was very good tonight," Yallop said. "We struggled to get the grip of the game to be honest. They had some great chances to score, but they didn't and that was important that we had a clean sheet.

"We didn't move the ball well as a team you know. In the Dallas game we did that and we did pretty well going forward. We struggled with our play tonight; we just didn't really get going. I felt that Toronto pressured us pretty well and shut us down when we tried to get out and play. They did a good job."

Manchester-born Andy Welsh, coming on as a Toronto sub in the 81st minute, nearly stole the glory with a blistering run into the box during injury time but his shot was straight at Cannon and the sides settled for a share of the points.

Toronto goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopolous, who was signed on Thursday, faced just two shots in his first career game.

"It's kinda tough when you get here two days before and don't really know anybody, you know a couple players here and there, but ... it's tough."