There was considerable cause for jealousy Tuesday night in Harrison, but then the Red Bulls changed all that with a crisp, dominating 2-0 victory over David Beckham and the Galaxy.
The Red Bulls are struggling to qualify for one of the final MLS playoff spots and hoping to survive the tantrums of Rafa Marquez, one of their two designated players. Meanwhile, the Galaxy is sailing atop the Western Conference, while Beckham embraces his captain’s role in the final year of a lucrative contract.
At age 36, Beckham admits to gray hairs and a slowing metabolism. He is clearly relishing his role, however, .fully adjusted to life in the past-prime lane. Two big-city European teams, Queens Park Rangers in London and Paris Saint Germain, have expressed interest, but Beckham is downplaying it for now. His career endgame may reside in Los Angeles, along with his wife, four kids and many endorsements.
“I’m flattered,” said Beckham, who is the league’s co-leader in assists, with 14 in just 25 games. “But I live in Los Angeles and I’m a Galaxy player.”
For a night, Beckham was outshone by the Red Bulls’ own pair of international stars, Thierry Henry and Marquez. Henry took a long lead pass in stride from Marquez, danced into the box alongside a defender and flipped the ball inside the far post past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts for his 14th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.
“He played a great ball for me,” Henry said, about Marquez.
Henry might have had another goal, too, but his shot on a clean breakaway caromed off the near post in the 81st minute. Earlier, in the 32nd minute, Luke Rodgers scored the Red Bulls’ first goal in the pinball aftermath of a corner kick, on a rebound off a header from Jan Gunnar Solli.
“They’re a team fighting for their lives,” said Beckham, who chatted up and hugged Henry before and after the match. “And we’re a bit tired.”
“I thought we had it going at the beginning of the season, and then it went away,” Henry said. “Maybe it’s coming back.”
The game was sold out, the crowd was announced at 25,186, yet Red Bull Arena was at least one-third .empty. Hurricane Irene had foisted this makeup date on the two teams, pushed the scheduled match from Aug. 28 to a Yankee playoff night.
Marquez’s gorgeous assist to Henry was redemption of sorts for the Mexican international star. Marquez was suspended for a game last month after complaining about the incompetence of his partners on the back line.
Then he appeared to lope back on defense in a recent match, which only antagonized the Red Bull supporter groups that heckle him from behind the back line.
Instead of benching Marquez Tuesday night, Hans Backe started him at midfield – an indicator of the coach’s desperate straits.
Marquez refused to speak last night after the match. He’d already had his moment of brilliance, and the Red Bulls had their victory over the glamour boy.
- David Beckham will join MLS with the league set to go into the stratosphere
- Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris open to MLS transfer… days after Inter Miami owner David Beckham watched him in action
- Proud David Beckham takes his kids to see his statue for first time during family holiday in LA
- David Beckham wants Kylian Mbappe as first superstar client as he starts career as an agent
- Carlo Ancelotti in frame to manage David Beckham’s Inter Miami in debut MLS season
- David Beckham and daughter Harper trick-or-treat Justin Bieber as family dress up in terrifying Halloween costumes
- Inside David Beckham’s £750m Inter Miami stadium with palm trees on the roof and a cocktail bar
- David Beckham and sons at hockey game
- Chris Coleman eyes boss job at David Beckham’s Inter Miami after failures with Sunderland and in China
- David Beckham reveals new buzzcut as he takes kids to Universal Studios in Hollywood