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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 5 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 1, 2008

Beckham returns for preseason training with L.A.

LONDON -- David Beckham has returned to the United States to join the Los Angeles Galaxy for training after being left off Fabio Capello's first England squad.

The 32-year-old midfielder was called back for preseason training by his Major League Soccer team after he was omitted from England's 30-man provisional roster for next week's exhibition against Switzerland.

Beckham canceled an appearance at a charity event in London, instead recording a video message.

"He was obviously disappointed," Beckham's publicist, Simon Oliviera, said Friday. "He has to report to training on Saturday and needed a few hours to catch up with the kids."

Beckham had been training with Arsenal in an attempt to keep fit in the MLS offseason, but Capello decided to leave out the former England captain because he hasn't played a competitive match since November.

Denied the chance of becoming just the fifth player to make his 100th appearance for England, Beckham must now return to club action in the hope of a recall.

The Galaxy has two weeks of two-a-day training sessions at The Home Depot Center stadium before flying to Hawaii for a preseason Pan-Pacific Championship.

Beckham could play in the Feb. 20 match against Japan's Gamba Osaka and either the final or third-place playoff on Feb. 23.

The Galaxy then plays in Seoul, Korea, and Shanghai, China, before a charity match against FC Dallas on March 15, with the regular season starting two weeks later.

That means Beckham should be fitter by the time England plays an exhibition at France on March 26, although Capello may prefer to wait until the midfielder has competed in the MLS.

Speaking before he knew of his omission, Beckham said he would remain available in the hope of winning his 100th cap.

"I won't get bitter and twisted because I am old enough and I have got enough respect for the manager to realize that if it does not happen, life goes on," Beckham said. "I have been lucky enough in my career to come back from tough times and disappointments. If it doesn't happen, I will come back from it again, in my way.

"If it does, then great."

Having seen Beckham train, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt that Capello will soon recall the veteran playmaker.

"We were all amazed how good he was," Wenger said. "I believe the English national team still needs Beckham because he can still make decisions and his experience will be needed in the big games and that is why I am sure he will get his 100th cap."