Worldwide traffic to Major League Soccer's web site, mlsnet.com, more doubled between July 2006 and July 2007 when Beckham debuted against Chelsea.
Unique visitors to the official web site of MLS jumped from 478,000 worldwide in July '06 to 1,037,000 in July '07, according to comScore, Inc., which specializes in measuring the digital world.
The increase in U.S. traffic was less substantial: increasing from 378,000 in July '06 to 594,000 in July '07.
U.S. visitors therefore accounted for only 40 percent of the increase in mlsnet.com traffic. Put another way, foreign visitors increased 443 percent in the year's span.
By comparison, here are comScore's July 2007 numbers for other U.S. pro leagues:
-- MLB.com 13,192,000;
-- NFL.com 3,676,000 (NFL Internet Group 8,059,000);
-- NBA Internet Network 3,950,000 (offseason, no less!)
And the big three of U.S. sports sites:
-- ESPN 18,227,000 (all ESPN online properties, not just ESPN.com)
-- Yahoo Sports 16,069,000 (Yahoo US Sports did 15,879,000)
-- Fox Sports on MSN 13,910,000 (including Fox Sports.com, Fox Soccer, Scout.com)