CARSON, Calif. — David Beckham was ejected for a studs-up challenge in the 17th minute, and the Los Angeles Galaxy finished with nine men in a 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night.
Beckham slid into Sounders midfielder Peter Vagenas trying to reach a ball, hooking his right ankle and bringing the former Galaxy midfielder down to the pitch. Referee Ricardo Salazar immediately issued the red card, and Beckham did not offer much of an argument before leaving the field.
It was Beckham’s first red card in his MLS career and his second ejection in the MLS. The red card carries an automatic suspension that will force Beckham to miss Los Angeles’ match at Chicago on Wednesday night.
Seattle (8-5-8), which snapped a three-match winless streak, needed only five minutes to convert following Beckham’s exit. Steve Zakuani scored in the 22nd minute on a 5-yard shot off Brad Evans’ cross from the right side of the penalty area, ending a 336-minute scoreless streak for the Sounders.
Evans began the play by intercepting Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter’s header and dribbling unmarked down the flank.
Fredy Montero added his 10th goal in the 54th minute. Nate Jaqua headed Vagenas’ corner kick to Montero, who fired a 6-yard shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
Sounders FC finished with 10 men after Tyrone Marshall received his second yellow card in the 78th minute. Salazar then ejected Los Angeles’ Eddie Lewis on a straight red card in the same minute, leaving the Galaxy with nine players.
Landon Donovan, diagnosed with the H1N1 virus Thursday, entered the game at the start of the second half for the Galaxy (7-4-10), who had their six-match unbeaten streak stopped.
Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller made three saves for his seventh shutout.
Fans overwhelmingly cheered Beckham when he was introduced in the starting lineup. One homemade banner behind the south goal read, “Welcome Back Beckham.”
The L.A. Riot Squad, the group of fans that displayed anti-Beckham banners when the Galaxy played A.C. Milan on July 19, unveiled none and did not boo Beckham as a unit.