Barcelona vs. Los Angeles

Galaxy falls to Barcelona despite Beckham goal

August 1, 2009

PASADENA, Calif. -- Pedro Rodriguez and Jeffren Suarez scored to give FC Barcelona a 2-1 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 93,137 fans at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

"It's a night we can all be proud of," said David Beckham, who scored for the Galaxy. "It's an experience all of us won't forget."

Beckham received a mixed reception when the starting lineups were introduced and was booed by the predominantly pro-Barcelona crowd virtually every time he touched the ball.

"There's going to be the odd reaction from a minority of people," Beckham said. "But 95 percent, 97 percent of the fans have been incredible."

The crowd was the largest for a soccer game in the United States since the 1994 World Cup.

Suarez, who replaced Lionel Messi at halftime, broke a 1-1 tie in the 67th minute. Sergio Busquets sent a through ball to Suarez, who scored from 13 yards.

Rodriguez gave Barcelona a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when he converted the deflected rebound of Messi's shot from 4 yards.

"They've shown that they've got a great future ahead of them," Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen said of Suarez and Rodriguez. "They're able to dribble very quickly, go past players and open up spaces."

Beckham tied it in the 45th minutes with a 26-yard free kick that curled into the upper-left corner.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going in," Beckham said. "It's like a golfer. When you hit the sweet spot, you know where it's going."

The match was the first in FC Barcelona's three-game tour of the United States. Barcelona will face the Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday night, then will play Mexico's CD Guadalajara at San Francisco's Candlestick Park.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press