Here’s what happens when things get desperate: You lose options.
In a perfect world for the Galaxy, David Beckham could sit out Saturday’s contest in Montreal. The surface, in a word, is terrible.
But he apparently will play today, when officials of Major League Soccer’s newest side expect to break a city attendance record. The Impact set the mark in March when 58,912 saw the club’s home opener.
Beckham has a big distaste for passing and trapping on the best versions of artificial turf. The former England captain sat out notoriously, for instance, two weeks ago against Seattle. That decision was mostly about the Galaxy’s packed schedule, but the desire to dodge fake grass surely contributed to the call.
Seattle’s turf is a FIFA approved version, much better than what they have inside Olympic Stadium (which is a temporary stopover pending the completion of Stade Saputo in June; the Impact’s permanent home ground will include a natural grass field.)
That playing surface really is atrocious. It’s more like old-school artificial turf laid over a concrete floor. Portland Timbers coach John Spencer called the field “horrendous.”
And yet, Beckham is on board, apparently. Why? Because the Galaxy are beginning to be desperate for points, hoping not to fall too far behind in the West.
“I think any player would express concern over playing on the turf,” Beckham said after training on the Olympic Stadium surface Friday. “But at the end of the day when you’re in the game you don’t think about anything else. I’ll be fine.”
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.