It’s starting to look like that everyone’s favorite soccer player, David Beckham, is only a few months from coming to play in the United States. The MLS is even allowing the Beckham rule so teams can go over the cap to sign a high profile player like Becks. This would have happened eventually of course, but if you would have told me in 2003 that Becks would be setting up shop in the US in 2007, I would have called you crazy. But at 31, Beckham’s European career is nearing an end (well he could go play for a middle of the road Premiership team or say, Celtic, but Becks isn’t stupid, he can make a lot more money playing in sunny California).
Plus for what team would Beckham return to in England? Arsenal doesn’t want him, same with the Blues and ManU. Newcastle? Blackburn? They’re not the big time clubs and who knows if they’re going to qualify for Europe. You have to figure a player like Beckham is going to want some sort of European competition. If not, then what’s the point? He’s David Beckham, arguably the biggest soccer ‘star’ in the world, why play 40 odd games for Newcastle (and probably get injured) or Blackburn? And Celtic? I highly doubt it. That’s why a few years in LA makes sense: great weather, he’ll be a start among starts but not the most famous face o the street, and they speak English (and Spanish!)… not that Becks even cares about that but whatever. But in LA he could be the man again, and on the road people would come to see him.
Don’t forget, probably most importantly for Becks and friends is that he can start to conquer America, the one of the few places in the world where his mug isn’t on every street corner or hawking Pepsis. Brand Beckham would get a new life here in the States; the biggest economy in the world remember.
And who wouldn’t love a little more Posh in their life? There’s nothing wrong with that.
For the MLS, it’s a no brainer. As far as soccer pop-culture goes in this country, it begins and probably ends with David Beckham (don’t tell Manchester United, the few footieheads, and that one sort of hip frat boy that owns the Beckham 23 Real Madrid shirt). The chance to put his pretty face on every single promo for the next few years would do the league wonders. Maybe the make a few more bucks in the stands and from TV that allows them to slowly bring over a few more players from Europe and improve the overall quality and product of the game here in the US.
The MLS has entered the next phase of its existence. You could call the first few years as a time of establishing itself. After the league was established came the building boom of stadiums for these teams (we won’t get into a debate about the necessity and success of those stadiums right now). But this phase is now drawing to a close. So what’s next for the league?
Going out and establishing itself as an international league. Yes, the strategy of focusing on US born players was smart. It took far too long for them to start a youth league, but they’re doing that. The MLS has realized that they need to make the league a European league, but put an American face on it… and there’s nothing wrong with that. American players are great, but we’ve also seen Americans attach themselves to foreign-born athletes all the time (and if you don’t believe me, look at baseball and their golden children including Ortiz, Pedro, and Pujols). In order for the league to go to the next level, to pack those stands a little bit more, it’s going to need a better product to promote to the general public.
And that’s where Beckham comes in.
He’d sell shirts. He’d sell tickets. And he’d sell the game. And that’s what MLS needs right now. Even if the quality of play in the MLS wouldn't improve greatly. Remember, he's only 31, the fact that his career is at a crossroads isn't because he's washed up. No he's not the fastest guy in the world, but he can still hit a mean cross and a sick freekick (sick... hey the 90s were cool). People forget, but if someone other than the stiff that is Peter Crouch was at the other end of all those Beckham crosses during the World Cup, England might have done just a bit better.
Then again, guys not too much better than Peter Crouch (if at all) will be at the other end of those crosses in the MLS.
Who cares though, it'd be fun to have Beckham playing here in the US. Shit, the man already attended Tom Cruise's wedding... he's half way to the anti-George Best career that he seems intent on having.
Of course, That’s On Point doesn’t agree with us. Read his take… as always.
As the article points out, the US is actually could one day present a ‘threat’ to European talent. Of course, that’s highly unlikely because of money. If European (and South American) players were paid at the same level that they are in Europe, they’d be here already. Of course, they’re not. But the US does have a few advantages: a more favorable tax structure and better weather (to a degree). I doubt we’ll ever seen an American league that could rival the English or Spanish leagues, let alone the Germans, but if we truly are already at a Scottish level, then maybe the MLS does have something going for it.
Don’t forget, those bars were filled and the TVs were tuned to that World Cup Final here in the States…
And if you want to read about the end of David Beckham’s days in Europe… check this one out.
And just for shits and giggles, (and to show some sources!) the English press are getting the typical: Soccer is here to stay in the USA! Type stuff that we ready ever so often. Hot.
This has nothing to do with Becks besides the fact that, well Radiohead is from England and ummm, Becks might be in the Southwest really soon. This is just weird.