Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Becks on call
by Ridge Mahoney, August 7th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

MLS and the Galaxy, exalted by media outlets throughout the land - for the most part - seven months ago for landing David Beckham are being lashed almost daily by many of those same outlets as his tender left ankle slowly heals.

"Damaged goods," "bait and switch," "Bench It Like Beckham", each day brings a fresh barb of stinging criticism, as if MLS conspired with the Estonian national team to arrange a stomping on his ankle in that June 6 qualifier and then stood by idly as Real Madrid's medical team shot his ankle full of pain-killers so he could play in the decisive, final match of the Spanish league season and further damage the ankle.

His slow recovery has fueled suspicions the damage may be long-term, even permanent. There's zero evidence to support this case, of course, but that's irrelevant, as is the plain fact that until he completed his contract with Real, Galaxy officials had absolutely no right nor course of action to evaluate or treat his ankle.

The criticism took some curious forms, such as that leveled at team officials for letting him travel with the team on its current three-game road trip after keeping him home for a SuperLiga game in Dallas on the grounds that air travel could cause swelling in his ankle. The possibility that the team believed he'd be healthy for the last two games of the trip against D.C. United and New England apparently didn't figure in this theory after he was ruled out of the Toronto game. And if he recovered in LA sufficiently to fly later in the week, got on a plane and his ankle swelled up to force him out of the lineup again, how stupid would that look?

And as to the dark suspicions about a sprained ankle taking so long to heal, a much younger MLS attacker by the name of Chris Rolfe only recently came off injured reserve after suffering an ankle sprain in mid-May. Do the math. And he didn't get flipped up in the air by Chelsea's Steve Sidwell, either.

At the time, Galaxy president and GM Alexi Lalasadmitted letting Beckham play against Chelsea entailed some risk. Responsibility admitted, risk taken, cost still to be determined. Can we move on?

Maybe the marketing forces played a role, but hey, this just in: Marketing millions persuaded the Galaxy to sign him in the first place! "Brand It Like Beckham," remember? Still, the league is in a bad spot, and so is the Galaxy and ESPN, which had heavily loaded its non-soccer programming with Beckham promos.

Fans who bought tickets have no grounds for refunds or rebates; this is not the same situation as for a concert by Luciano Pavarotti or even the Spice Girls. If he, or they, don't show, customers are entitled to a refund or some other make-good. So would a boxing fan if illness or arrest caused cancellation of the main event on a card. Not so for a competitive team sporting event.

A baseball fan who buys a San Francisco Giants ticket in the hopes of seeing Barry Bondshit a historic homer has no case if he sits. Ditto for Becks. Those fans in other MLS cities that bought season tickets months in advance to guarantee themselves seats to see Becks probably have no legal recourse, but they'll complain, and team officials had best listen.

Sports teams are permitted to scale ticket prices differently for different games, yet the premium prices charged by MLS teams for the Galaxy visit and bundled packages by which fans had to buy tickets to other games in order to get the Galaxy game could be deemed onerous.

Each day is an adventure, and we're not even a month into a five-year saga.

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Soares and Stanko switch leagues    
Americans A.J. Soares and Caleb Stanko have moved to clubs in Denmark and Liechtenstein. Soares, a ...
MLS Power Rankings: Galaxy takes third, Red Bulls now fifth    
Leader FC Dallas played a 1-1 tie with No. 2 Colorado that kept those teams in ...
TV Report: MLS up 32 percent on ESPN and ESPN2    
MLS is averaging 312,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN2 in 2016, up 32 percent from the ...
MLS Moves: Schmid's run in Seattle is over    
Sigi Schmid, the only coach the Seattle Sounders have ever had in their eight MLS seasons, ...
Video Pick: Sakho sent home after Alcatraz visit    
Here's the GoPro video of Liverpool's Alcatraz tour filmed by Mamadou Sakho before Coach Jurgen Klopp ...
MLS Injury Report: Timbers' Borchers out for season    
Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers will miss the rest of the 2016 season with a ruptured ...
TV Report: MLS All-Star Game will air in Cuba    
The MLS All-Star Game will be broadcast for the first time in Cuba. MLS reached an ...
Crowd Count: MLS chases 2015 attendance record    
At the All-Star break, MLS clubs are averaging 21,429 fans a game, almost unchanged (down 0.6 ...
What They're Saying: Chinese soccer fan Netizen Liu Ningning    
"I don't mind spending money on the ticket, I don't have to watch the game, but ...
What They're Saying: Bill Edwards    
"As [head coach] Stuart [Campbell] said after the match, the officiating was disgusting. It was the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives