Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Balancing what beckons Beckham
by Ridge Mahoney, May 23rd, 2007 10AM

TAGS:  mls


Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas, talking on his cell phone at the Denver airport waiting for a connecting flight to Los Angeles, is wary of loading too many exhibition matches onto his team's schedule.

Lalas was returning from Minneapolis, having concluded negotiations for his team to feed off the frenzy that will hit these shores in another month or so. Still, playing at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Oct. 10 against an opponent to be named later makes sense, even if the game - and a match one week earlier in Vancouver - occurs during the critical final weeks of the MLS regular season.

That's what happens when you sign David Beckham. The world comes calling.

"We took on some financial responsibilities by signing a certain player," says Lalas, "and everyone at our club knows those responsibilities mean we have to generate revenue whenever we can. Believe me, we've had to turn down some attractive and lucrative proposals because we were concerned about our players and our organization doing too much.

"Because of our commitments in MLS and other competitions you'll see us do more of this in the postseason and preseason next year. Our players and coaches understand this, and David, too, knows that this is part of the gig."

In this case, the gig is a match promoted by the USL Minnesota Thunder and its ambitious director of soccer operations, Manny Lagos, who emerged from a long college and pro playing career as universally liked as a person can be. Lagos, a native of St. Paul, Minn., hopes to promote the Copa Minnesota as a regular international soccer event. For this first edition, Mexican club UNAM is among the possible foes for the Galaxy.

"As soon as we signed Beckham, Manny Lagos was on the phone, saying 'You need to come here,'" says Lalas. "He made it attractive for us, financially and competitively, and I'll say straight out, if it wasn't for Manny Lagos and his hard work, this game doesn't happen."

Lalas didn't reveal financial details but a source says the Galaxy is being guaranteed a fee of $500,000. Lagos wants to break the state soccer attendance record set in June, 1976, when a crowd of 46,164 came to see Pele and the Cosmos play the Minnesota Kicks at Metropolitan Stadium. The Metrodome can accommodate 64,000 for soccer. A 1984 Metrodome crowd of 52,000 attended a soccer game that also featured a Beach Boys concert, or vice versa.

"Copa Minnesota will be an amazing international soccer event that will boost local and regional interest in the sport," said Lagos in a press release. He played for the MetroStars, Columbus, Tampa Bay, Chicago and San Jose in MLS as well as in France and Spain after earning all-America honors at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"Two great teams are coming together with a lot of star power. This is a not-to-be-missed soccer event for fans and families, and of course, we are very excited to bring the biggest soccer star in the world, David Beckham, to the Twin Cities."

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Confidential
MLS: Best of September    
More brilliance from the Atomic Ant, another top forwar.d robbed by the league's all-time shutout king, ...
Sporting KC isn't about to rest on its impressive laurels    
There is a lot to like about Sporting Kansas City. Its ownership group has built one ...
Does the Open Cup final need a home, too?    
Since closing of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame building in Oneonta, N.Y,. five years ago, ...
MLS home teams are winning at a near-record pace    
Has the rapid pace of MLS expansion and corresponding increase in soccer-specific stadiums translated into better ...
MLS stars align at just the right time    
September was a crazy month in MLS. Not once but in two consecutive weeks the top ...
Western Conference race merits attention from all MLS fans, regardless of loyalties    
By expanding its playoff field from five teams per conference to six, MLS has broadened interest ...
The case for and against a summer off    
We should know soon enough whether the Copa Centenario goes ahead as planned -- the final ...
My 23 for Mexico    
Just about every U.S. fan is anxious to see who will be picked to face Mexico ...
Fire plagued with questions in aftermath of latest shakeup    
Who in their right minds would be encouraged by yet another shakeup at the Chicago Fire?
New York Red Bulls, best in class, but focused on final exam    
The New York Red Bulls might not win the MLS Cup that has eluded them since ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives