David Beckham, eager to bond with his new team mates while recovering from injury, played an inactive role on the bench for Los Angeles Galaxy's SuperLiga match against Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday.
The England midfielder, restricted to just 16 minutes of playing time for the Major League Soccer club since arriving in the U.S. just over two weeks ago, watched as the Galaxy lost 2-1.
Beckham, who wore a tracksuit with his left trouser rolled up just below the knee, had been ruled out of selection for the Galaxy's second fixture in the regional competition the previous day.
"We were real happy he wanted to be a part of the team and on the bench," Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas told reporters at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
"He was excited and animated and he really wants this team to win. He's frustrated, he wants to play and, to a certain extent, he feels he's letting people down.
"But this is a long-term process. He's going to be with us for a long time and we need to get him 100 percent healthy. We've got plenty of games. We just need to get him healthy."
Beckham, signed from Real Madrid on a $32.5 million five-year deal but battling to shake off a swollen left ankle, has not been able to train with his new team mates since his much-trumpeted arrival in Los Angeles on July 12.
He came on as a late substitute for his Galaxy debut against FA Cup holders Chelsea last Saturday and has spent most of his time since then in the treatment room and the gym.
The 32-year-old twisted his ankle playing for England against Estonia in a Euro 2008 qualifying match last month and aggravated it in his final appearance for Real 11 days later.
Like Lalas, Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop was delighted to have Beckham supporting the team from the bench in front of a crowd of 37,337.
"It's good to have him around," the former Canada international said. "It's a boost of morale for the team because he's right behind us and he's always been from day one, to be honest.
"I felt it was good if he got a bit of the atmosphere tonight. It was a great atmosphere and I think, at the end there, he saw a bit of fight."
Chivas, 11-times Mexican league champions, struck first in the 59th minute when defender Francisco Rodriguez headed the ball into the back of the net after Omar Esparza's pinpoint cross from the right.
Substitute Omar Bravo doubled the lead in the 82nd minute, sliding the ball home after Galaxy defender Abel Xavier was unable to block a cross from Ramon Morales on the left.
However, U.S. international Landon Donovan scored a late Galaxy consolation when he latched on to a loose ball in the penalty area with just goalkeeper Ernesto Michel to beat.
"From David's point of view, he saw a team that won't give up and kept going, which is important," Yallop added. "We had chances to score and we fought back into the match."