Soccer

Beckham doubtful for Toronto FC match

David Beckham is unlikely to play in Sunday's much-hyped Major League Soccer match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC, the English star's coach said Saturday.

David Beckham is unlikely to play in Sunday's much-hyped Major League Soccer match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC.

The English star said Saturday he's seven to 10 days away from starting a game because of a nagging left ankle injury, and probably won't be available off the bench for Sunday's game at BMO Field in downtown Toronto (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).

"I'm here for five years and maybe more," Beckham told a packed news conference at the Air Canada Centre. "That's where people may have to be slightly patient and not think that I'm just here for the glitz and the glamour.

"I'm here to play soccer, I'm not here to play anything else."

Beckham attended the Galaxy's practice at BMO Field Saturday, but was restricted to running.

The 32-year-old former England captain has played only 16 minutes for the Galaxy because of the tender ankle. He was a substitute in a July 21 exhibition against Chelsea, and missed Tuesday's SuperLiga game against FC Dallas, a 6-5 win for Los Angeles.

Beckham also watched from the sidelines last Saturday in L.A. as Mexican side Chivas defeated the Galaxy 2-1 in the SuperLiga, an eight-team exhibition tournament involving clubs from Mexico and MLS. He also missed the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Pachuca in its SuperLiga opener a week ago.

Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop was cautious Saturday when asked if Beckham could see playing time off the bench in Toronto.

"We'll see," Yallop said. "He's still pretty sore. At least he's running."

On Tuesday, Toronto FC issued a press release warning fans there would be no refunds on tickets should Beckham not play.

"Consistent with all sporting events, we are not in a position to guarantee that any player will appear in a match," said the release. "As with any other player under contract with either club participating in the game, should Mr. Beckham be unable to play in the game, no refunds will be issued for tickets purchased.

"Fans should be aware that Mr. Beckham has been rehabilitating an injury. His status for Sunday's game has not been determined by the Galaxy at this time."

Beckham, who spent the previous four seasons in Spain with Real Madrid, signed with the Galaxy in January for a guaranteed $27 million US over five years.

With files from the Associated Press