David Beckham left in the 30th minute of the Los Angeles Galaxy's SuperLiga final against Mexican team Pachuca on Wednesday after spraining his right knee when he took a fall.
The Galaxy's star midfielder and Pachuca midfielder Fernando Salazar each went after the ball just outside the Mexican club's penalty area. Beckham tripped over the ball and fell. He lay face down on the grass for a few seconds before getting up and hobbling off the field, signaling to the bench he needed to come out.
Initially, Beckham's injury was announced as a strain. But after he was examined at halftime, the team said he had a sprain.
Salazar left because of a strained right knee. Alan Gordon replaced Beckham in the 33rd minute, triggering massive booing from the crowd of 12,500.
Beckham made his way to a wall on the sideline, bent over and held on to it before a Galaxy staff member arrived to help him to the bench. He sat down and had his right leg taped, then buried his head in his hands. At halftime, Beckham gingerly walked across the field to the tunnel.
He did not return to the field for the second half.
Beckham has had a nagging left ankle injury since before he joined the Galaxy on July 13. It has limited his playing time and caused him to miss games both at home and on the road.
The Galaxy's next Major League Soccer game is at home Saturday against Real Salt Lake. Beckham was expected to leave Sunday to join England for 10 days to play in two Euro 2008 qualifying matches, but it was not immediately known how his injury might affect those plans.
The Galaxy wore black armbands to honor 22-year-old Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta, who died Tuesday after collapsing on the field in Spain.