Beckham criticizes MLS for scheduling conflicts


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David Beckham, who on Sunday could be called up for England’s next two World Cup qualifying matches for South Africa 2010, on Wednesday criticized Major League Soccer for failing to tailor its schedule to FIFA’s international match calendar.

Both Beckham and Landon Donovan will miss the Galaxy’s crucial home game against the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 12 if they are selected to the England and U.S. national teams, respectively, for games on Oct. 11 and 15.


England plays Kazakhstan in London and Belarus in Minsk on those dates, while the U.S. plays Cuba in Chicago and Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain.

Beckham said there is nothing the players can do about it, even though the league’s highest-paid and highest-profile player and its leading goal scorer will both miss an MLS match with massive playoff implications.

‘It’s out of our hands,’ Beckham said Wednesday morning at the Home Depot Center. ‘There’s nothing we can do about that. We’re representing our countries.

‘That’s one thing that I’ve said about this league. It should be organized where players don’t miss games [because of national team commitments]. Until that changes, there’s always going to be a problem. There are always going to be players who are going to be missing games and missing big games.

‘It’s wrong. So something needs to be changed or looked at.’

There is no guarantee that England Coach Fabio Capello will call upon Beckham, considering that the midfielder played a total of only 17 minutes in England previous two qualifying matches.

But Beckham has provided good support to his heir-apparent, 19-year-old Arsenal player Theo Walcott, so it is possible he could be called up simply for the positive influence he has on the next generation.


For the full interview with Beckham, in which he also talks about Saturday’s match against the Columbus Crew in Ohio, see the Galaxy’s blog site at:

--Grahame L. Jones