David Beckham was hauled-off at half-time of Los Angeles Galaxy's 3-1 home defeat to New England Revolution following a dramatic bust-up with team-mates Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas.
Both Beckham and Brazilian Sarvas were removed at half-time although Bruce Arena insists the change was purely tactical.
"It was purely a coach's decision. We needed to make a change in midfield.
"I'm sure David's not pleased about it but that's not the issue. The issue was that 11 players from New England soundly outplayed 11 players from the Galaxy.
"I couldn't change 11 players and that's what I told the team at half-time. If I had 11 substitutions, I'd have considered that."
Sporting Kansas City stretched their 100% start to the season to four games as they edged to a 1-0 win at Chivas USA.
CJ Sapong scored the only goal of the game two minutes into the second half as Sporting stretched their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference to six points.
Elsewhere, second-half goals from Omar Cummings and Kamani Hill gave the Colorado Rapids a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire.