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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 6, 2007

Yallop expects Beckham's debut to ease pressure

Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop believes the media circus surrounding his team will ease the minute David Beckham starts playing again.

Beckham's ankle injury and the constant guessing games over his availability for matches has brought a huge amount of pressure on Yallop and his players, who fought out a goalless draw with Toronto FC last night as they resumed their Major League Soccer campaign at BMO Field.

The England midfielder once again watched his new team-mates from the Galaxy dugout and yet again was the centre of attention for the cluster of photographers and television crews that tried to get a glimpse of Beckham throughout the game.

Not only does Yallop want Beckham fit to start contributing for his side, he also wants him out on the pitch so the media circus can start calming down.

'What we're trying to do is get him on the field,' Yallop said. 'Once he gets on the field it's going to kind of go away I think.

'The game was going on and there are people in front of me taking photographs. We need to get away from that and we're trying to get him on the field.'

Yallop said Beckham's injury had improved over the weekend but refused to say whether he would be fit to face DC United in Washington DC on Thursday night.

'He ran a bit more today and the ankle felt a little bit looser than yesterday. I don't want to say he's healed and he'll be available for the game on Thursday but we'll see.

'We've got a couple of days until that game and we'll see how he responds after the bit of work he did today. He's getting better.'

Yallop said he felt Beckham's arrival in Los Angeles in the middle of last month has coincided with an upturn in team morale after a struggling start to the MLS season that saw them win just three times in their opening 12 games.

And although he admitted Toronto were the better team last night, he was proud of his players for their battling performance.

'Our team didn't play well tonight but we fought and I think we would have lost that game three weeks ago.

'So the spirit's there, we're not playing like we want to play, or how I want us to play, and we look poor in certain areas but we do have a couple of injuries in there and we've got to battle on and keep going.

'Overall, at the end of the game, a point was good for us.

'I thought Toronto were very good tonight but we struggled to get to grips with the game to be honest.

'What I will say, we might have been outplayed in the game but we weren't outfought and that was important for us as a club to come through that.'

Yallop also praised the passionate support of Toronto's fans on a night when the new MLS team set a club record attendance with its 22,522 sell-out crowd.

'The atmosphere was fantastic,' Yallop said. 'You see it on TV but you don't actually realise what it's like until you're actually here.

'It really lifts their players and there's no better atmosphere in the league than playing here.'