If there were a statistical category that MLS fans would expect to see David Beckham in the lead, cautions would likely not be at the top of the list.
The season is just six games old, but the LA Galaxy’s English star has managed five yellow card to this point, forcing him to sit the final match of his club’s road trip in Chicago on Sunday.
When asked about his latest yellow card picked up in Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw against Toronto FC at BMO Field, the question set him off into a monologue about refereeing in LA Galaxy games thus far in 2011.
“To be honest, over the last few games, I’ve spoken too much about referees,” he said after the match. “They are becoming the stars of the MLS and that’s obviously not what teams want and clubs want.”
Against the Reds, Beckham was booked in the 44th minute for a hard challenge on Julian de Guzman. Four days earlier, he was booked for flattening D.C. United’s Josh Wolff. The only game this season in which Beckham did not pick up a yellow card was in the home opener on March 20.
Despite having a league-leading five bookings, Beckham has yet to be sent off, which is not the same fortune met by several of his Galaxy teammates. Juninho was the latest to see red in Toronto after receiving two yellow cards.
Sunday’s match will mark the third consecutive game in which the Galaxy will be missing players due to suspension. Against D.C. United last weekend, Jovan Kirovski earned a red card for dissent, a card that was handed to him after the final whistle had blown. Midfielder Chris Birchall was ejected against Philadelphia on April 2.
“You want the players to be playing out there; you want it to be fair,” Beckham said in Toronto. “I just don’t think the consistency is there. There are bad calls and we’ve had the majority of bad calls over the last few games.”
Beckham and the Galaxy have also lamented the late penalty kick awarded to D.C. United in the final moments of last weekend’s match as well as a goal called back in the home opener against the New England Revolution.
“It’s ruining games, it’s ruining our preparation for games,” Beckham said. “I’ll probably get in trouble but it’s gone on too long now. We want that consistency to be there and we want to keep our players on the field.”
Beckham did not get in trouble for his comments. The league confirmed on Thursday that the MLS Disciplinary Committee did examine the public statements made by the LA midfielder and concluded that no further disciplinary action is in order.