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Beckham set to play in Montreal, never mind the terrible turf

May 12, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

Olympic Stadium

Here’s what happens when things get desperate: You lose options.

In a perfect world for the Galaxy, David Beckham could sit out Saturday’s contest in Montreal. The surface, in a word, is terrible.

But he apparently will play today, when officials of Major League Soccer’s newest side expect to break a city attendance record. The Impact set the mark in March when 58,912 saw the club’s home opener.

Beckham has a big distaste for passing and trapping on the best versions of artificial turf. The former England captain sat out notoriously, for instance, two weeks ago against Seattle. That decision was mostly about the Galaxy’s packed schedule, but the desire to dodge fake grass surely contributed to the call.

Seattle’s turf is a FIFA approved version, much better than what they have inside Olympic Stadium (which is a temporary stopover pending the completion of Stade Saputo in June; the Impact’s permanent home ground will include a natural grass field.)

That playing surface really is atrocious. It’s more like old-school artificial turf laid over a concrete floor. Portland Timbers coach John Spencer called the field “horrendous.”

And yet, Beckham is on board, apparently. Why? Because the Galaxy are beginning to be desperate for points, hoping not to fall too far behind in the West.

“I think any player would express concern over playing on the turf,” Beckham said after training on the Olympic Stadium surface Friday. “But at the end of the day when you’re in the game you don’t think about anything else. I’ll be fine.”

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