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Premier League

Becks motivated by criticism

David Beckham has admitted his first goal in American soccer was partly motivated by the desire to prove his critics wrong.

Beckham made his first start for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, on Wednesday night, scoring a brilliant free-kick and creating a goal for Landon Donovan in a 2-0 SuperLiga semi-final victory over DC United.

Having arrived in Los Angeles in July with an ankle injury and only playing twice since as a late substitute, the England star was beginning to receive criticism from fans and the media questioning his motives for moving to the United States.

Speaking at a press conference in Manhattan last night ahead of tonight's Major League Soccer clash with the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium, Beckham said: 'I'm always motivated to play well in games.

'Whether I am proving people wrong or whether it's because I've been out that people have been impatient, I know I have to go out there and perform well.

'To be accepted in this country and to be accepted in this league it's important to perform at the highest level that I can.

'The performance in the week, I was just pleased to be back in the team, really pleased to be back playing.

'In my career I have had ups and downs, had disappointments, but I've been lucky to have been brought up the right way, to think 'well, now it's time for me to try to prove people wrong'.

'I've been lucky in my career also to do it quite a few times and hopefully it continues because it's something nice that I can look back on in my career.'

Beckham faces the Red Bulls tonight hoping to once again begin the game for the Galaxy, but he said he was still feeling the effects of Wednesday night's victory over DC United, when he made his first start in eight weeks since injuring his left ankle and played 62 minutes.

He said: 'I'm feeling good. I feel a little bit tired after the game the other night and I'm aching a little bit because my first training session was on the Tuesday and my first game was on the Wednesday.

'That was the first time I really ran like I run and kicked a ball like I do for eight weeks since I got injured.

'So I'm aching a little bit but I'm ready for the game and hopefully my ankle will hold up like it did in the game the other night.

'It felt strong and I was happy to be back playing.'