LONDON -- England coach Steve McClaren is hopeful David Beckham will play in the exhibition next week against Germany.
Beckham has seen limited play with the Los Angeles Galaxy because of an ankle injury. McClaren was optimistic Beckham would be fit to face the Germans at Wembley next Wednesday if he saw action against D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls this week. Beckham was in the Galaxy's starting lineup for the first time Wednesday night and played 63 minutes, scoring the first goal on a free kick in a 2-0 victory.
"We've got to assess it over the next few days," McClaren said earlier in the day. "He will be in the squad. We want him to come over and play a part against Germany. We'll be keeping in close contact with him and the Galaxy medical staff to see his condition. If at all possible, of course, we'd like David to join us on Monday."
Before Wednesday, Beckham had yet to start for the Galaxy since signing a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Major League Soccer team.
"David is positive and bright," McClaren said. "He is enjoying the experience but is frustrated by his injury. I was reassured by his determination to play for England and, if at all possible, we would like him to join us for training on Monday."
McClaren saw Beckham play the last 21 minutes of an MLS game the Galaxy lost to D.C. United last week and also chatted to coach Frank Yallop and president and general manager Alexi Lalas.
"It was important to see how David was and to establish a relationship with the back-room people at LA Galaxy, just as I would with any club in England," McClaren said. "They were very supportive. They understand where I am coming from, and I understand where they are coming from. But the other thing I needed to do was look at the standard of the MLS. In doing that, you also have to understand the player involved.
"As long as he is playing competitive football, is motivated and fit, has got some goals ahead of him and the standard is OK, there would be no detriment to his performance. There are enough games between now and November for that to happen and as long as that continues, he will be an asset to us."
Wayne Rooney won't be on the England team to feed off Beckham's trademark crosses.
Rooney is out for two months after breaking his foot in Manchester United's Premier League opener on Sunday. He will miss England's European Championship qualifying games against Israel (Sept. 8) and Russia (Sept 12).
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press