CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham seemed to be his usual self on the field Sunday afternoon, but appearances were, in this case, most deceiving.
The LA Galaxy star battled gamely and effectively for 78 minutes of the 2-0 victory over visiting FC Dallas despite a stomach virus that kept him up most of the previous night, mostly hovered over a toilet.
He was on his way home to bed almost as soon as Michael Stephens took his place, and his recovery will determine whether he can play in Wednesday night's CONCACAF Champions League game against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
“After an hour of sleep, throwing up all night, it's never easy,” Beckham said, in quotes provided by the Galaxy following the match. “But two of the kids are the same, so I just go through it. I think at the end of the day, I played almost 80 minutes and I didn’t feel great, but the important part was the three points.”
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena praised Beckham's effort, saying that, “For David to hang in there was outstanding, great leadership on his part.”
Arena quipped that he finally pulled Becks because, “We wanted him to stop puking on the field. He'd ruin the surface.”
Juninho rounding into form
Juninho scored twice in the Galaxy's 4-0 rout of Chivas USA on Aug. 12, added two more in last Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League win over El Salvador's Isidro Metapán and netted the 66th-minute winner, to finish Jose Villarreal's heroics, against Dallas.
GOAL: Juninho scores winner vs. FCD
What's going on?
“Confidence,” he said. “It's the confidence right not to keep going forward. ... The confidence that I have, and everything just plays off of that.”
The Brazilian midfielder started the season slowly – Arena pegged some of it as disappointment that his bid to find a role with São Paulo had failed – but has been at his best the past month. That's critical: Juninho's attacking prowess was one of the keys to LA's success last year.
“Fitness and intelligence,” Arena said of Juninho's form. “He's had a great engine over the last, probably, two months. He's gotten real fit. He's gotten his weight down to where it needs to be. And he's simply been outstanding.”