MLS fixtures to hamper Beckham's 100 quest?

February 7, 2008

David Beckham may have to skip Los Angeles Galaxy games in order to earn his 100th England cap.

Major League Soccer unveiled their full schedule today and, as expected, made no accommodation for international dates on the FIFA calendar.

If Beckham does not reach the century mark when England play France on March 26, he will have to wait for games in August and September that will clash with Galaxy matches.

Beckham might be considered a long shot to play against France given that new England manager Fabio Capello left him out of this week's Switzerland game due to lack of match fitness - a situation that will only be partially remedied by the Galaxy's preseason.

Instead, Beckham may have to wait for late in the summer. England could have a friendly game on August 20, an international date and only a day before the Galaxy host the Chicago Fire.

When England play Andorra in a World Cup qualifier on September 6, the Galaxy will be facing Real Salt Lake at home.

The Galaxy are hoping to see much more of Beckham this season than last, when ankle and knee injuries restricted him to only five appearances after joining in June from Real Madrid.

Then, MLS had backloaded the Galaxy's schedule to try and get in as many games for Beckham as possible, but it turned sour as he sat out most of the games.

This year, the Galaxy will have a more balanced schedule, playing each team twice and then having extra home and away fixtures with conference foes FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The Earthquakes, an expansion franchise joining the league this season, have announced plans to move the two Galaxy games from their 11,500 seat Buck Shaw Stadium home to the vast McAfee Coliseum in Oakland.

The Galaxy will not have to contend with the SuperLiga this season, as MLS announced that champions the Houston Dynamo, DC United, the New England Revolution and Chivas USA would represent the league in the tournament against four Mexican clubs.