TORONTO: There were several David Beckham and Posh Spice impersonators strolling the terraces of BMO Field but no sign of the genuine article on the pitch as the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC battled to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Beckham, who told a news conference on Saturday that he was not fit to play, was true to his word, watching the match from the team bench in a dark blue suit.
When Beckham stunned the soccer world this year by moving from Spanish giants Real Madrid to the Galaxy in a five-year deal that could net him up to US$250mil, the game against Toronto FC was targeted as his Major League Soccer (MLS) debut.
But a nagging ankle injury sustained playing for England in June, has limited Beckham to a brief cameo appearance in a Galaxy uniform, a friendly against Chelsea on July 21.
The 32-year-old midfielder has since struggled for fitness, spending most of his time in the treatment room and the gym.
While there was no hiding the disappointment of Beckhams absence, the expansion Toronto FC hardly needed the former England captain to sell tickets, the club having sold out every game this season to lead MLS in attendance figures.
MLS commissioner Don Garber made the trip to Toronto, only to watch Beckham remain anchored to the bench.
Theres a lot of anticipation, we look forward to him (Beckham) getting on the field and satisfying a lot of fans waiting for him to put on the boots and play some soccer, said Garber.
This is a long five-year deal and while were all frustrated, I know David is the most frustrated, but people will forget about these handful of games that he misses when he hits the field. Reuters