CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, August 15, 2007) -- David Beckham wants to play tonight for the Los Angeles Galaxy in its Superliga 2007 semifinal against visiting D.C. United at The Home Depot Center.
The 10 p.m. (ET) match will be broadcast by Spanish-language Telefutura. The winner of the match will face Pachuca CF of the Mexican League in the Superliga final August 29.
Rafael Marquez Lugo made the winning penalty kick for Pachuca, which defeated Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo 4-3 in a shootout in last night's semifinal in Houston.
Beckham participated fully in a practice session with his new teammates yesterday. He has been hampered by an ailing left ankle since first injuring it June 6 playing for England and then aggravating it while representing Real Madrid in the week and a half that followed that.
"Good to at least get out on the field and have a bit of practice," he told the Associated Press.
Beckham pronounced himself "about 78 percent" ready to go. "It's not perfect yet, but I think I can at least play half a game tomorrow," he said. "It still feels unstable to a certain extent, but it feels stable enough to actually play in a game and see how far I can take it."
Beckham has been limited to a 16-minute appearance in a July 21 exhibition against Chelsea at home and 21 minutes against D.C. United in his MLS debut August 9 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Beckham did not say if he expected to make his first start since signing a five-year $32.5 player's contract with MLS and the Galaxy, a deal that could be worth millions more because of off-field activities.
"He's not going to last the game out because of his fitness level," L.A. coach Frank Yallop told the Associated Press. "Do you want to start the game with him or do you want to end the game with him? We ended the game with him in D.C. and we started to actually put them under quite a bit of pressure. Maybe we can think about that. I'd rather maybe have him at the end of the game."
The penalty-kicks tiebreaker between Pachuca and Houston was even at 3-3 after Wade Barrett, Chris Wondolowski and Richard Mulrooney made their penalty kicks for the Dynamo, while Fernando Salashzar, Gabriel Caballero and Luis Gabriel Ray connected on the first three for Pachuca.
In the fourth round, Dynamo forward Brian Ching's shot bounced off the left post and then Pachuca midfielder Damian Alvarez's attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Pat Onstad. In the deciding round, Pachuca keeper Miguel Calero denied Joseph Ngwenya weak kick, setting up Lugo's heroics.
Houston played most of the match shorthanded and wound up with nine men after defender Patrick Ianni was shown a red card in the 14th minute after he pulled down Christian Gimenez from behind, preventing a goal, and midfielder Corey Ashe was sent off with a red card in the 102nd minute, 12 minutes into the first of two 15-minute overtime periods, for elbowing an opponent in the face.
Pachuca's Andres Chitiva was ejected in the 85th minute after being whistled for diving and earning his second yellow card..
Brian Mullan scored in the fourth minute to put Hosuton ahead 1-0, a lead that lasted until Carlos Cacho took a pass from Carlos Rodriguez and found net from 18 yards in the 28th minute.
Andrés Chitiva put away a rebound from 12 yards after shooting from a crowd to put Pachuca up 2-1 in the 61st minute. Eddie Robinson equalized for the Dynamo in the 82nd minute after converting a pass from Richard Mulrooney.