Monday, August 13, 2007

David Beckham: MLS Savior or Bust

David Beckham made his long awaited MLS regular season debut against D.C United in an unimpressive performance last week. It was a sloppy game, which is pretty common in the MLS. The game was played in the rain, unlike pussy-ass baseball, and Beckham made a rather low-key debut for his first MLS regular season appearance. Beckham is still nursing a tender ankle, and as a former soccer player, hurt ankles are a nuisance when you're trying to cut or stop on a dime. I doubt we'll be able to see Beckham play up to his full potential for about another couple of weeks. When he does get healthy, I hope Beckham can show a fraction of the form he showed in his last games with Real Madrid.

David Beckham is a beast on the soccer field. He has uncanny vision and he can change a game with a single strike from his boot. His free kicks are rivaled only by Roberto Carlos of Brazil. He's also married to the stunning Victoria Beckham, which makes him one of the most envied human beings in the whole world. Very few people can say they're going to make 250 million dollars in the next 5 years, but this guy can.

With great power, comes great responsibility though... Uncle Ben was right when he uttered those words to a young Peter Parker in the first Spiderman. Beckham has been assigned the difficult task of making soccer relevant in America. This is a monumental task. Soccer is an afterthought here in America because everyone gets off to the Big Three: football, basketball and baseball. Soccer can hold its own in popularity though. Every time a European club comes to play a friendly game here in States, the game sells out immediately. Even Mexican club teams can sell out stadiums here in the U.S. The whole country gets a sudden wave of interest every 4th year for the World Cup as well. The arenas where soccer falls short are on television and coverage in the mainstream American media. ESPN doesn't give a shit about soccer unless something monumental happens. I mean, when Eric Wynalda is a lead commentator for soccer games, you know something isn't right.

Maybe Beckham can arouse more media interest about the actual game of soccer, instead of what he or his wife are wearing out in public or the usual tabloid bullshit. If Beckham can produce a handful of the plays he displays in this video in the coming years here in the U.S., then he has a good shot at making soccer explode.

Regardless of what happens, he has already made the casual fan more aware of the beautiful game with his mere marketing ability and his 80 dollar jersey, which is fucking sweet by the way.
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Joey said...

I find it really sad that Beckham's looks and his wife are the only reasons the "casual" fan tunes in to watch soccer in America lately.

Would there have been this much hooplah over Zidane's bald mug and his wife. No way. The following in American soccer is pathetic. But that just goes to show the power of Beckham and why the Execs over at AEG are not stupid for paying him alot of money.

Adam said...

I thought he played decent in his first game back. He had a great ball to Donovan which i think Donovan could have done more with. But i think soccer will catch on rapidly specially with the growing numbers who play in AYSO. What needs to happen is we need other Teams to follow galaxy and bring in more big ticket players. Thank god for English premier league!

Joey said...


Speaking of Engligh Premier League, I think you will find plenty of players and fans who agree with Alexi Lalas comments here

RG3 was talking to me the other day and interpreting Lala's comments to mean that overall MLS and EPL are on the same page. While Lalas wasn't trashing the EPL, he was just acknowledging their lack of depth behind world class Chelsea, Man-U, Arsenal, and Liverpool. The drop in quality play from the 4th best to 5th best team in EPL is ridiculously huge. MLS on the other hand might have balance and isn't the crapshoot that everyone makes it out to be.

mel kiper fan said...

I wonder how long it takes MLS to lure some of the great forwards in the world. People who watch the MLS or the US National Team know that Americans lack finishers, players capable of taking over a game, and that can score hat-tricks at will. People like to see scoring, that's one of the reasons why baseball has suffered a decrease in popularity, people like basketball and football in this country. Signing Beckham is a great start though, and I'm excited about his potential impact on soccer in the USA.

Adam said...

True, but i think the overall skill is far superior in EPL

RG3 said...

You're right about the skill level in the Premiership, Adam. That league has world class players in the top 4 clubs. The MLS has about 4 world class players... if that. You just can't compare players like C. Ronaldo, Drogba and John Terry to guys like Cobi Jones and Calen Carr.

Adam said...

we should have friendly against the bottom half of the EPL so we can see how we measure up