California Classico Memories: David Beckham's First MLS Goal

CARSON, CA - APRIL 03: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his first half goal with teammate Landon Donovan #10 during their MLS game against the San Jose Earthquakes at the Home Depot Center on April 3, 2008 in Carson, California. (Pho

The party line is that David Beckham made his MLS debut in 2007. He came off the bench in a friendly match against Chelsea at The Home Depot Center, it was broadcast on ESPN, Drew Carey was interviewed about this team he had bought called the Sounders. However, this wasn't the moment that launched Beckham's MLS career. He only started two matches in 2007, at New York (a record breaking sellout) and home against Chivas USA. He came off the bench once before those starts, and the last two matches of the year, but mostly Beckham wasn't ready.

2008 is where everything went down. Twenty five starts in twenty five matches. Taking the captain's armband from Landon Donovan giving Grant Wahl a premise for a book. In his five 2007 appearances Beckham had no goals and two assists. Beckham scored the Galaxy's first goal in 2008.

Nine minutes into the first California Classico since San Jose had been reinstated into the league, Beckham found himself all alone with only the keeper to beat. It was a simple roller, but the picture of Beckham and Donovan arm in arm (and of Beckham jumping on Donovan's back after Donovan scored the capper half an hour later) were to be a sign of things to come. The Galaxy shot to the top of the Western Conference standings.

It wasn't to be. The Beckham captaincy was a rocky one, and starting June 21st the Galaxy went on a club record 12 match winless streak. For a brief moment, however, it seemed like the Beckham experiment would be a success.

Of course it was, after the Galaxy fired Alexi Lalas and Ruud Gullit then went and hired Bruce Arena as a European style manager with full personnel control. That version of the Galaxy won many many games. It just sure was a journey to get there, and it all really kicked off in the return of the California Classico.

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