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LA Galaxy's Beckham looking forward to Mondragon meeting

LA Galaxy star David Beckhamsays he is excited about this weekend's meeting with Philadelphia Union. The match gives the Galaxy a good chance to redeem themselves following the 4-1 loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend but also allows Beckham to reunite with a former opponent, Union keeper Faryd Mondragon.

The 39-year old Colombian was in goals at the 1998 World Cup when a 23-year old Beckham bent a free-kick around the wall and in past him for a goal in the group stage of the France tournament.

13 years on and the former England captain says he is looking forward to again meeting Mondragon, a recent addition to the Union roster, on the field of battle.

"I'll have great memories from seeing him," he said about Mondragon. "It's nice to be going up against him and hopefully I can do it again."

Beckham added that it is an even better memory due to the fact that it was his first goal for his country.

"I wasn't actually that nervous," he recalled. "I was ready to play in the World Cup. I had prepared myself and I was ready to go. I was excited more than nervous.

"It meant a lot to me that game, scoring my first goal for England, playing in my first World Cup and it was my mum's birthday. It was kind of special in many ways. It was a good day."

And Mondragon also had some recollections of the clash, which England won 2-0 at the Stade Felix Bollaert in Lens.

"I remember it was the third game of the group, and we needed a draw or a win to advance and England needed to win," he said. "And, well, we were down 1-0 and around the 30-minute mark there was a free kick from about 27 or 30 meters and, well, Beckham kicked the ball, it went over the wall and went in just inside the post to my right."

The Galaxy, who recorded a win, a loss and a draw in their opening three MLS matches host the undefeated Union at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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