Beckham, Galaxy Arrive in Australia

The Los Angeles Galaxy have touched down on Australian soil ahead of Tuesday's exhibition match with local club Sydney FC. David Beckham wasn't far behind, arriving over the weekend on a private jet from England after his country was bounced from Euro 2008 qualifying with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Croatia at Wembley Stadium.
Turning his attention back to club football for the time being, Beckham was put through the paces by new Galaxy head coach Ruud Gullit during a training on Monday morning at Telstra Stadium, with the midfielder clutching his troublesome left ankle several teams during the session. Gullit immediately attempted to quash any rumors about Beckham's fitness, saying it is his hope that #23 will play a full 90 minutes. It should be noted that Becks is required to play no less than 55 minutes in the match as part of the deal that the two teams brokered.

Gullit is looking forward to seeing his squad in action for the first time in person, telling reporters: "It's the first time for me to see where we can improve, for them to see what I expect from them and it's also good for us to get to know each other."

As was the case throughout much of the 2007 season, several Galaxy players may not be available or will be at less than 100% due to injuries.

Defenders Ty Harden and Abel Xavier and midfielder Kyle Martino won't even be making the trip Down Under. Harden and Martino both underwent hernia operations in Milwaukee just before Thanksgiving, while 'X' remains in Portugal to rehab a left knee injury.

Forward Alan Gordon and midfielder Quavas Kirk, while traveling with the team, are unlikely to see much action as Gordon has recently undergone surgery to correct a problem with his left foot that hampered him for much of the 2007 season. Kirk was also dogged by a bad case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot and will continue working with the team's medical staff to get healthy once more.

Keeping the list of no-shows going, Kelly Gray is scheduled to get married in Northern California on December 1st. Israel Sesay has already returned to his hometown of Gaithersburg, MD for the offseason and standout rookie defender Mike Randolph has been named to the U.S. U-23 provisional roster for their upcoming camp. If he is named in the squad, it would be his first career cap at any level with the United States National Team.

One player who did make the trip is Clint Mathis, recently acquired by Los Angeles for a third-round pick in the 2008 SuperDraft.

Some much needed time off is in the future for the Galaxy, but not until the club returns to American soil on December 3rd. Following Tuesday's exhibition with Sydney FC, the team will fly to New Zealand to take on the Wellington Phoenix this Saturday.

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