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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007, 04:50 GMT 05:50 UK
Beckham makes debut for US team
By David Willis
BBC News, Los Angeles

David Beckham in action for the LA Galaxy in Carson, California
One TV camera, "the Beckham-cam", followed the star throughout
Footballer David Beckham has made his debut for his new team, LA Galaxy, before a packed house in a friendly against Chelsea in California.

Beckham, who is suffering from an ankle injury sustained in a game for England, spent just 13 minutes on the pitch.

But he could not prevent his team from losing the game 0-1.

Signed from Real Madrid in January in a deal said to be worth some $250m over the next five years, Beckham's debut had been keenly anticipated in America.

'New era'

The game was televised live, with one camera - known as the "Beckham-cam" - trained on the former Manchester United star throughout.

However, he ended up spending most of his time on the bench nursing his injury and did not take to the field until the 77th minute, by which time LA Galaxy were a goal down and clearly struggling against the FA Cup winners.


Beckham touched the ball fewer than a dozen times and said after the game that his ankle was still sore.

He said the reception he had been afforded "makes me feel a little bit embarrassed at times".

"But it's incredible and I have to thank the people and the fans for coming out to watch the game tonight," he added.

Since he arrived in LA just over a week ago Beckham's presence has been the subject of considerable hype and more than a little hyperbole.

As the camera focused on his wife, Victoria, the TV commentator hailed her husband's debut as a new era in American soccer.

A red carpet had been set up leading into the stadium for celebrities such as California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Later on Sunday, the Beckhams will attend a party in their honour hosted by film stars Tom Cruise and Will Smith.

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