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David Beckham's Major League Soccer debut must have felt just like home.

In a downpour that made the RFK Stadium field resemble a soggy ground back in England, Beckham played the final 21 minutes in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Thursday night, the biggest debut for a foreign star in a U.S. soccer league since Pele arrived in 1975.

"It's not nice to disappoint people," Beckham said. "It's not nice to disappoint people that paid a lot of money to come and see the game. I was glad to get on the pitch tonight. It was a good night, but it was a bad night, too, because we ended up losing the game."

The sellout crowd of 46,686 waited anxiously to see if this would be the night Beckham would finally play in a competitive match.



Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O'Neal are together again.

Hardaway, 36, who last played an NBA game in November 2005, signed with the Miami Heat and is reuniting with O'Neal - his former Magic teammate in the mid 1990s.

The team said Hardaway wasn't available for comment. O'Neal, who has occasionally offered less-than-glowing comments about his time with Hardaway in Orlando, told the Heat he supports the move.

CELTICS: The team started filling in its roster around its three All-Stars, signing center Scot Pollard and guard Eddie House. "Getting Kevin Garnett has been kind of a big deal. But now that us two are here, you really have a chance," Pollard joked at a news conference. "I'm excited to be the cornerstone of this team."

WNBA: Deanna Nolan scored 18 and Kara Braxton added 17 to help the host Detroit Shock beat the Seattle Storm 97-70 for its fifth straight victory. ... Sophia Young and Shanna Crossley each scored 19 and Becky Hammon had 16 points and eight assists in her return from a foot injury as the San Antonio Silver Stars defeated the visiting Sacramento Monarchs 72-61.


Federer easily reaches Rogers Cup quarters

Defending champion Roger Federer breezed past qualifier Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Federer faces Lleyton Hewitt, who eliminated Dominik Hrbaty 6-7 (12-10), 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.

Andy Roddick had little trouble beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-3. He faces third-seeded Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Rafael Nadal downed Paul-Henri Mathieu 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, setting up a quarterfinal with Frank Dancevic.

EAST WEST BANK CLASSIC: Maria Sharapova survived a nearly three-hour struggle against Michaella Krajicek, winning 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-3), 6-4 on her third match point to reach the quarterfinals in Carson, Calif.

SERENA TO RETURN TO ACTION: Serena Williams, who has been out with a thumb injury since reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, will return to the court this month in the Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven, Conn.


BOXING: Two Cuban boxers who disappeared during the Pan American Games in Brazil say they ate and drank excessively before a weigh-in, then fled because of fears they were too heavy to fight. Guillermo Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic bantamweight champion, and Erislandy Lara, a welterweight world champion, were missing for 11 days.

NHL: Blackhawks coach Denis Savard received a contract extension through the 2008-09 season. He has been the coach since November following the dismissal of Trent Yawney. Savard finished the season 24-30-7.