“You’re going home in a Cook County Ambulance!”. David Beckham received a warm welcome today from the Fire’s hardcore fans, Section 8, as the Englishman entered late in the game. As he came on, L.A. needed a goal and a win to advance to the playoffs and knock out Chicago, who needed just a point to progress themselves.
And I’m sorry everyone, but I have no photos of David Beckham for you. I’ve little to say about his cameo performance; a couple of decent deliveries aside, he was pretty quiet. For most of the people at the game today, including me, he was not the main attraction.
Sure, Beckham #23 jerseys dotted the stands, teenage girls giddily excited. It was a sell-out; mind you, since the arrival of our own foreign star Temo Blanco, we’ve been getting used to those. And the mix of boos and cheers when Beckham entered the game or stepped up to take a free-kick caused a lot less commotion than the Fire’s frequent forays forward, rebuffed again and again by the Galaxy’s beefy keeper Joe Cannon, to the increasing chagrin of Section 8.
Finally, deep into stoppage time, the goal came. And what a beautifully incongruous scorer: it was John Thorrington, a little known and long forgotten teammate of Beckham’s at Manchester United during their Annus mirabilis of 1999, who lifted the ball deftly over Cannon and into the Harlem End goal.
Beckham didn’t go home in a Cook County Ambulance, but he certainly didn’t leave too happy, either. But those of us in Section 8 certainly did.