We now know that David Beckham suffers from a mild form of asthma since childhood according to his spokesman which accounts for his use of an inhaler during extra time.
He was also shrugging of a cold and on top of this needed pain killing injections for his ankle bruise. What you had was a player who was noticeably short of breath and limping badly as the match wore on. This was his second extra time game in a week.
No one plays Beckham the way Bruce Arena does. He has not seen a full game in Milan and as an England player for more than three years now. Beckham's utility is almost like that of a special teams player in the NFL. He would be ideal if there was some sort of changeover allowed in soccer.
By the time Findley had scored, Beckham was noticeably labouring. In fact, Donovan Ricketts it can be argued was let down by Beckham's poor defensive instincts which let in Findley's equalizer. As the game ground towards extra time, it became clear Beckham was eager to get rid of the ball at first touch which led to a number of predictable or misplaced long balls. Beckham's corner taking was also noticeably ineffective and RSL had no problems dealing with them.
I know playing his first MLS final was a big occasion for Beckham and a chance to right every wrong. But in retrospect, it looks likes like a big mistake to have kept him that long. He should have been substituted soon after the first half and a faster, fitter Dema Kovalenko brought in. This overshadows Arena's other controversial decision of keeping Ricketts on the pitch soon after the goalie hurt his hand in an awkward collision with Omar Gonzalez.