Beckham helps England blank United States

WEMBLEY, England - David Beckham is doing his best to dazzle American soccer fans with his precision free kicks. He also is making sure they don't forget about them back in England.

Beckham's perfect curling ball set up John Terry for the go-ahead goal in the 38th minute, and England outclassed the United States, 2-0, in an exhibition game yesterday at Wembley.

While England may not have been good enough to qualify for the 16-team European Championship next month, it easily dispatched the Americans on the world's most famous soccer field.

Steven Gerrard scored the second goal in the 59th minute off a through-ball from Gareth Barry that exposed the U.S. defense. With 10 minutes to go, England's long-suffering fans were belting out choruses of "God Save the Queen."

The match drew 71,233 to Wembley, the lowest figure in any of England's eight games at the 90,000-capacity arena, which opened in 2007 after years of reconstruction.

The United States, which brought a five-match unbeaten streak into the game, dropped to 2-7 against the English, winning at the 1950 World Cup and in a 1993 exhibition game at Foxborough, Mass. This matchup came 3 years to the day after England's 2-1 win at Chicago's Soldier Field.

The United States played without Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, who would have made his 100th international appearance but was dropped from the roster due to a sore groin.

At 26, Donovan is set to become the youngest American - and fourth youngest in history - to reach the 100-game milestone.

Donovan's next chance will come in another exhibition, at Spain on June 4. The U.S. also plays Argentina at East Rutherford, N.J. (June 8), before opening World Cup qualifying on June 15 against Barbados at Carson, Calif. *