Injured Beckham's absence 'not the end of the world,' Arena says
This is what the Galaxy -- not to mention Crew fans -- will be missing.
On Thursday, the Galaxy declined to comment when Beckham was not aboard the team's flight to Ohio. A Beckham spokesman, however, said the English midfielder had an Achilles tendon injury and that no decision would be made until after Beckham was reevaluated this morning.
Bruce Arena, the Galaxy's coach and general manager, said at the news conference in Columbus today that "it was a 50-50 thing" whether Beckham would travel and that "we decided to use better judgment and give him this game off."
Beckham has scored two goals and assisted on three others in his eight games this season since rejoining the Galaxy in July after his loan stint with AC Milan in Italy. Arena shrugged off Beckham's absence.
"He's missed about 18 to 20 games for us this year, so it's not the end of the world," Arena said. "This is all part of it. Teams miss players throughout the season, whether it's [due to] injuries or suspensions or other reasons. We've learned to play a lot of games without him and we're going to play another one.
"It [the Achilles problem] is something that David always has an issue with. I expect him to be back next week" for the Oct. 2 home game against the Chicago Fire.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: David Beckham wins a high ball over Julian de Guzman on September 19 in Carson. Photo credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty Images.