Los Angeles Soccer: Phil Younghusband
If this is the end of David Beckham with the Galaxy, he's putting on quite an encore.
Beckham scored a sweet goal, set up another on a corner kick, saw another from a terrific cross flagged offside and nearly tallied with a midfield rocket as L.A. poured it on in Manila, romping to a 6-1 victory over the Philippines' national team on the second stop of its three-game Pacific tour.
Robbie Keane added a goal and an assist, Adam Cristman came off the bench to score a couple, playoff hero Mike Magee netted one,and Gregg Berhalter, whose playing career will close with Tuesday's friendly in Australia, converted a late penalty kick.
Beckham, who will decide after the postseason tour whether he'll re-sign with the Galaxy or head back to Europe -- almost certainly to Paris Saint-Germain -- walked off in the 76th minute to a standing ovation, trotted to the edge of the stands at Rizal Memorial Stadium and handed his jersey to boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
The Galaxy, fortunate to be ahead at halftime through Beckham in the 20th minute and Magee in the 39th, scored four second-half goals on a hot, humid evening, using an attacking pace that the Philippine players could not combat.
There was talent in the home side, especially the England-born and -bred Younghusband brothers -- Phil and James -- whose performances might be worthy of a trial back at Home Depot Center. They caused havoc along the Galaxy backline, scoring one goal and nearly creating another that would have erased L.A.'s early advantage.
Phil Younghusband twisted A.J. DeLaGarza to score from Angel Guirado's chip following a Galaxy turnover in the 41st minute. Two minutes later, James Younghusband's through ball left Carlos Alberto Martinez de Murga one-on-one with Josh Saunders, but his shot slipped past the left post.
The Galaxy nearly went ahead after 15 minutes, when Beckham noticed goalkeeper Ed Sacapaņo off his line and blasted toward the net from the midfield stripe. It was a line drive that the Phillipine keeper would not have gotten to had it not been a shade high.
Beckham got his goal five minutes later on a quick counter following a Sean Franklin takeaway near the top of their box.
The Galaxy's tour of Asia and Australia is producing some thrills -- and disappointments. And that's just within the Philippines' national team.
L.A. landed in Manila on Thursday for the second leg of their postseason trek, triggering tales from the Filipino squad's stars of their youths following David Beckham. And the Galaxy.
Philippine captain Aly Borromeo, a Bay Area-born defender who is out because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, said in a news conference Thursday that it was “heartbreaking not to be out on the pitch with my team.”
To miss out on the chance to share a field with Beckham? Not quite.
“I grew up,” he said, “watching the Galaxy in college in the U.S.”
Borromeo will have to be content watching Saturday's friendly at Rizal Memorial Stadium, which kicks off at 3:30 a.m. PST and will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel.
Phil Younghusband, an English-born, Chelsea-bred forward, is relishing his opportunity to play against Beckham.
“David Beckham is one of the reasons why I wanted to be a professional player. He’s the player who, since I was 7, I wanted to emulate,” Younghusband, now 24, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer earlier this week. He said he sent Beckham a fan letter when he was 9 but that he was “sure it never got to him. But I was able to meet him when I was 10, when Chelsea played Manchester United, [when] I was a [Chelsea] ball boy.”