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Carlos Bocanegra believes David Beckham’s move to the Los Angeles Galaxy has rescued Major League Soccer from obscurity.

Beckham was given a rapturous reception when he made his Galaxy debut in Thursday night’s 1-0 defeat by DC United in a sell-out game at the RFK Stadium in Washington.

The former England captain, still struggling with an ankle injury, made minimal impact after coming off the substitutes’ bench with 18 minutes to go but his arrival was well received.

USA skipper Bocanegra joined Fulham from Chicago Fire in 2004 and knows the profile of MLS needed raising at home and abroad.

“It is easy to follow the MLS now that it is on television all the time,” said the Cottagers centre-back, who led the USA to victory in the Gold Cup in June.

“I still speak to some of the guys at Chicago and they are excited about playing him. Obviously the stadiums will be packed when he comes to play their team. The matches are often in big American football stadiums which have about 80,000 seats.

“But probably only 15,000 people turn up for the football matches, which makes it a terrible atmosphere.

“Beckham is filling up the stadiums and that is pretty cool. The guys are looking forward to seeing what all the buzz is about.

“He is not transforming the game in America but he is doing a great job for the MLS. He is creating interest when maybe even people in Alabama didn’t know we had a soccer league.

“He could have gone anywhere so I’m sure he’s not doing it for financial reasons.”

Bocanegra will partner Zat Knight at centre-back in today’s Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal at the Emirates.

Fulham’s frailties at the back have proved their downfall over the last couple of years and manager Lawrie Sanchez has left his defenders with little doubt of what is expected of them this season.

And Bocanegra insists the quest for resilience must begin today against Arsenal.

“We need to be more solid this year in defence. We have been working on it this week and it is really important we get off to a good start,” he said.