David Beckham received an ugly reception in his first home game back with the Los Angeles Galaxy, first getting booed and then confronting a fan at halftime of his team's 2-2 draw with Italian club AC Milan on Sunday.
Anti-Beckham sentiment ran high as the English star returned after missing half of the Major League Soccer season while on a five-month loan to AC Milan. He was clearly angered by the frequent booing and derisive banners held up in a corner of the stadium where one of the team's fan groups sits.
"I'm not disappointed. It doesn't affect me," he said. "You can't be liked by everyone."
The homemade signs all had messages directed at Beckham. "Go home fraud" read one, with a red slash through his No. 23 jersey number. Another said, "23: Repent," while another read, "Hey Becks, Here Before You, Here After You, Here Despite You." Another read, "Is evil something u are...or something u do."
At halftime, Beckham walked toward the L.A. Riot Squad section and motioned to a fan to come closer. A man who jumped down from the seats was subdued by security and taken away.
"One of the guys was saying things that wasn't very nice. It was stepping over the line," Beckham said. "I said, 'You need to calm down and come shake my hand,' and he jumped over."
The man was arrested by Cal State Dominguez Hills police for trespassing because he left the seating area, a Home Depot Center spokeswoman said.
"Obviously, there were some dissenters in the early going, but I think he won over a lot of people by the end," Galaxy manager Bruce Arena said.
In the 65th minute, Beckham walked toward the fan section to take a corner kick. He sent a bending kick at Bryan Jordan, who headed the ball in to level the score at 2-2.
Beckham turned and faced the fans who had been heckling him all game and spread both arms wide as if to say, "What do you want?" He then gestured before walking away. Beckham and Landon Donovan assisted on the Galaxy's first goal, by Alan Gordon.
Beckham left the game in the 75th minute and clapped his hands as he walked off to a mix of boos and cheers. He waved to fans offering a smattering of cheers in an opposite corner before sitting on the bench.
"The cheers in the end drowned out the boos, which was nice," he said.
Parkhurst rejoins U.S. team: Defender Michael Parkhurst is rejoining the U.S. roster for Thursday's semifinal against Honduras in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Chicago.
Parkhurst, a former Wake Forest star, played in three first-round matches, then returned to Denmark to be with Nordsjaelland and missed Saturday's quarterfinal victory over Panama.
Belgium, Netherlands plan bid: A joint World Cup bid by Belgium and the Netherlands to host either the 2018 or 2022 tournament will be considered by FIFA after all.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Monday that Belgian and Dutch officials assured him that their co-hosting candidacy would be run via a single organizing committee, not like the 2002 Japan-South Korea tournament, which posed a headache for football's governing body.
The two countries previously co-hosted the 2000 European Championship, which was considered a success.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said he was examining all 11 preliminary bids, which also include applications by the United States, England and Russia.
The hosts will be chosen by the 24-member FIFA executive committee in December 2010.