David Beckham scored his first goal Wednesday as an L.A. Galaxy player.
Wearing his No. 23 shirt, the midfielder – starting in his first game for the Galaxy – scored on a free kick in the 27th minute. Galaxy went on to defeat D.C. United, 2-0, with Beckham assisting U.S. international Landon Donovan, Galaxy’s usual captain, with the second goal.
“The free kick was the first I’ve taken for eight weeks, so it was quite pleasing,” Beckham, 32, told the Associated Press afterward. “I felt I was going to score as soon as I had the ball in my hands.”
Later the soccer star wrote a message on his personal blog, saying: “It was incredible to finally start the game against D.C. United, but to actually score a goal in my first proper home match was more than I could have hoped for, and an intensely amazing moment for me.”
Beckham played until the 63rd minute, and received a standing ovation as he exited the field. A Galaxy trainer immediately attended to Beckham’s left ankle, which has long plagued the star’s American debut.
“I didn’t expect to last an hour but it felt great after 10 minutes into the game,” Beckham said. “My confidence got up with my ankle and I was happy to be out there for 60 minutes. Overall, the ankle was a lot better than I thought it was going to be and I felt confident going into tackles.”
Beckham’s first goal was on the Galaxy’s Southern California turf: the Home Depot Center, where a crowd of some 17,220 – including his wife Victoria Beckham – watched.
“The fans were superb all night and I thought we deserved to go through, even though D.C. gave us a few problems and are a very strong team,” Beckham also wrote on his blog. “I’m now looking forward to our next game against Red Bull New York and hope to play a part in that. Hopefully, we can build on last night’s fantastic result.”
Last week, while on D.C. United home turf, Beckham also squeezed in some high-end sightseeing. The new American resident received a very secretive – and very private – tour of the White House last Thursday, reports The Washington Post‘s “Reliable Source” column. It is not known whether the Brit Beefcake met President Bush.
• Reporting by JESSICA HERNDON