A year ago, David Beckham prepared to take a free kick against the Columbus Crew. It was deep into stoppage time, with the Galaxy leading by a goal. Something about the Crew’s defence rattled the Englishman. He complained, eating up the clock, until the referee came over to sort it out. But this proved woefully insufficient.
With the referee retreating back to his preferred vantage point, Beckham left the ball where it lay, while complaining rather theatrically as the clock ticked on. Now it was the referee who was rattled, and he issued the midfielder a yellow card, his eighth of the season.
This meant that Galaxy, the best team in the league, would be without David Beckham when they played Vancouver, the worst team in the league. Instead of playing on the artificial surface of BC Place, he could rest up at home, spending time with his newfound daughter, Harper.
Incidentally, Los Angeles won the match 4-0. Not bad if you ask us, you’d almost think it was deliberate. But this time, Beckham did arrive, and we were there at practice to make sure of it.