he has 1 goal and 3 assists in 3 offical games.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- David Beckham made his first Major League Soccer start, Giants Stadium filled back up for soccer and the Galaxy and Red Bulls filled the net at a near-record pace.
Bringing back memories of the days Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia brought excitement to soccer in the United States more than 25 years ago, Beckham drew 66,237 and helped set up three goals as Los Angeles lost a wild one, 5-4 to New York on Saturday night.
Giants Stadium is nearly empty for most Red Bulls' games _ the team's average of 11,573 for its first 10 home matches was next to last in the league. The crowd that came out for Beckham was the largest in franchise history and the largest there for a U.S. league game since the Cosmos drew 70,312 against Fort Lauderdale on June 22, 1980.
"It makes you feel great. It makes you feel honored," Beckham said. "And hopefully, it continues, because this is what this league needs, this is what this sport needs in America."
Beckham played his first full game since joining the Galaxy last month and did it on artificial turf, no less. An injured left ankle had caused the 32-year-old midfielder to miss five games and come in as a late sub in two others. He made his first start Wednesday, playing 63 minutes in a SuperLiga match.
He limped at the end and his ankle was swollen, but he hopes to make his 97th appearance for England in an exhibition against Germany at Wembley on Wednesday night, then play eight time zones away Thursday night in MLS's version of a soccer "derby" -- Los Angeles vs. Chivas USA in Carson, Calif.
"My ankle took quite a bit of pounding, of course. It's a surface that I'm obviously not used to playing on," he said. "There was a couple of instances that I sort of went over on my ankle. But at the end of the day we have to play on this surface."
It was the 10th time in MLS history teams combined for nine or more goals and just two shy of the record set when Los Angeles beat Columbus 7-4 on May 6, 1998.
"It was very different," Beckham said. "I haven't been involved in a game like that since I was 9 or 10 years old, where there were so many goals."
Fans showed some support for the home team, many booing Beckham when he took corner kicks and free kicks. But they also lit up the stadium with camera flashes when he took his restarts, and they cheered him when he left the field, shirtless, displaying his many tattoos.
"I don't think there's anybody in this sport than can sell tickets the way he can," Red Bulls star Clint Mathis said. "You can't tell me that there were 60-, 65,000 soccer fans there today. There was probably people that had no idea of what the game was going on about. But that's the people that we need to continue to draw."
Beckham set up Carlos Pavon for goals in the sixth and eighth minutes, first with a corner kick and then with a 37-yard free kick. After current U.S. star Landon Donovan scored in the 71st, Beckham's corner kick in the 82nd led the goal that made it 4-all, with Edson Buddle scoring after Kyle Veris' header went off a post.
"Every ball he touched was a piece of magic," New York's Juan Pablo Angel said.
But that wasn't enough for Los Angeles (3-8-5), which has lost three straight MLS games and is 0-3-2 in its last five. It was a miserable night for the goalkeepers, Ronald Waterreus of the Red Bulls and Joe Cannon of the Galaxy.
Angel scored two goals that raised his season total to 12, getting the first of the game in the fourth minute and breaking a 4-4 tie in the 88th. Jozy Altidore, a 17-year-old whose play should soon get him a callup to the U.S. national team, scored in the 49th and 70th minutes for the Red Bulls, raising his season total to seven. Mathis scored in first half-injury time goal for New York (10-7-3).
"I'm never going to forget a game like this. It was really an amazing feeling,'' said Altidore, playing in front of a big crowd for the first time.
Bringing what he termed "glamour and glitz" to a sport in desperate need of both in the United States, Beckham was the center of attention, clearly visible in white boots. The crowd displayed a soccer shop full of jerseys and while there were plenty of Beckham Galaxy shirts, there were just as many England jerseys in the stands.
It was a rare night of attention for the Red Bulls.
"We've struggled in this marketplace," New York coach Bruce Arena said. "It's our job when people to show up to try and give them a reason to come back. So, hopefully, we converted a few people tonight
Mathis wants the crowds to keep coming.
"This is how it is in Europe. We should expect to have 60,000 every single game," he said. "I don't care if we're playing David Beckham or the Kansas City Wizards. It should be like that every single game