Carson, California:David Beckham was sent off for a studs-up challenge in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer on Saturday.
Beckham slid into a tackle on Seattle midfielder Peter Vagenas, hooking his right ankle and bringing his former Galaxy teammate down. Referee Ricardo Salazar immediately issued the red card, and while Beckham did not offer much of an argument before leaving the field, he later disputed the straight red.
"Pete's one of my best friends," Beckham said after the game. "I've never gone into one tackle wanting to hurt someone. It was a hard tackle but by no means a red card."
It was Beckham's first straight red card in his MLS career and his second sending off. The red card carries an automatic suspension that will force Beckham to miss Los Angeles' match at Chicago on Wednesday.
"With the way he came in hard, I could see how the referee would determine it likely was a dangerous tackle," Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said. "When you throw yourself into that kind of tackle, there's a chance you're going to get sent off."
There were three explusions in the match. Seattle's Tyrone Marshall received his second yellow card in the 78th minute, and Los Angeles' Eddie Lewis was shown a straight red seconds later, recucing the Galaxy to nine men.
Landon Donovan, diagnosed with swine flu on Thursday, entered the game at the start of the second half.
Beckham has received a mixed reception from L.A. fans upon his return to MLS, as they were upset at the length of his loan move to A.C. Milan in Italy's Serie A.
However the former England captain received a show of support on Saturday, being cheered upon the naming of the lineup while one banner behind the south goal read, "Welcome Back Beckham."
The L.A. Riot Squad, the group of fans that displayed anti-Beckham banners when the Galaxy played Milan last month, unveiled no messages and did not boo Beckham as a unit.