It's a good thing that English soccer import David Beckham is playing in Los Angeles and not, say, in someplace like Missouri.

That Midwestern bastion of "Show Me" would be highly disappointed in Beckham's performance to date while Tinsel Town is more likely to be dazzled by the hype and trappings of superstardom.

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The Beckham Experience had another woeful outing yesterday when the zillion-dollar fashion mag model who dabbles in sports sprained his knee (left) in what turned out to be another loss for his new U.S. team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. In the fractured world of pro soccer, this game was against Pachuca in the championship match of SuperLiga, which was held in L.A. Puchuca won, 4-3, on penalty kicks. The injury surely will sideline Beckham for the Galaxy's next MLS game against Real Salt Lake, and, quite likely, across the pond on behalf of England in a pair of Euro 2008 qualifiers next month.

When he arrived in America and hailed as sports royalty, Beckham was nagged by an ankle injury that got his U.S. soccer show off to a slow start. Now, it's the knee. In between, he has tried to split his playing schedule between here and the United Kingdom.

And here's the point: Soccer is a hugely tough sell in America to begin with. If Beckham falls on his face, it will set back the cause of the sport here in ways that are difficult to measure -- but it will be profound.

Photo credit: Lori Shepler/Los Angeles Times

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