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
Beckham Will Do More Than Bend It
by Ridge Mahoney, July 9th, 2007 2:32PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Magazine



He didn't want to be a savior, yet David Beckham may well arrive as one. The league he will play in is doing just fine, but his new team is on the skids.

The international superstar shunned by his club and country has been recalled by both, but it's to America he's headed. David Beckham is the dawn of a new era and it can't start soon enough for his new team.

Major League Soccer in 2007 is far from a thriving success, but lucrative sponsorships, a viable business plan rooted in mid-sized facilities and stringent cost restrictions, decent media contracts and realistic expansion possibilities paint a promising landscape.

As a centerpiece of that landscape, it has a splendid stadium in which a tenant, Chivas USA, is leaving its landlord, the Los Angeles Galaxy, in the dust. Two months into the season, Los Angeles had won just one of eight games, and it faces a rough second half of the season loaded with road games to spread the Beckham mystique to as many league cities as possible.

The Galaxy is preparing to welcome a superstar but is far from the superclub that general manager Alexi Lalas and Anschutz Entertainment Group president Tim Leiweke envision. Playing for a crummy team will be akin to Coach Frank Yallop handing Jeff Gordon the car keys to a rusting hulk.

Fortunately for coach and GM, their new player isn't a glamour boy obsessed with his own image, a preening pretty boy devoted to his sheen and little else. His charming good looks and fashion-perfect physique adorn products from sunglasses to swimwear. That's what sponsors pay for, but that's not what was bred at Manchester United and bought for big bucks ($41 million) by Real Madrid.

Within the taut torso beats the heart of a competitor, a battler, a showman with substance. At United, players are driven to win with flair in their feet and joy on their faces, but the winning comes first. The Galaxy can use some dipping free kicks and wicked crosses, most definitely, but what it needs more are heart and fight and spirit.

"He just wants to play soccer, he loves the game," says Rapids midfielder Terry Cooke, who played with Beckham in the United system when they were teenagers. "At United we were taught to play the game with a smile on your face and he always does that, Becks. I try to do it as well, to an extent. Obviously if I'm losing I'm not going to smile. Beckham's always been on successful teams, he's always been a winner, and he's going to bring that to the Galaxy."

(This article originally appeared in the July 2007 issue of Soccer America Magazine.)

No comments yet.

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



Recent Soccer America Magazine
2011 Women's World Cup this week ...    
[SCOREBOARD] Two-time defending champion Germany and France are through to the quarterfinals of the Women's World ...
Tom Mulroy: soccer promoter extraordinaire    
Only once has 53-year-old Tommy Mulroy had a job that wasn't about soccer. His stint at ...
Off the Post: Oddball Tales of the Soccer World     
U-20 World Cup: USA Falls in Egypt     
U.S. Soccer: The Remarkable Rise of Jay DeMerit    
DeMerit's extraordinary ascendancy in pro soccer has taken him into a prominent role with the national ...
In The Game: Pioneer Gordon Jago Still Going Strong    
Youth Beat: A Nation Gone Tournament Mad    
If you've been wondering why tournament play has become such a major part of the youth ...
MLS: Warzycha Keeps Crew Winning     
A shaky start to the 2009 season under head coach Robert Warzycha caused some alarm among ...
U.S. Soccer: Qualifying is Just the Start    
The team that qualifies for the World Cup isn't the same team that actually goes to ...
Backline: ESPN's Derek Rae blazes new trail    
Pond-hopping Rae helps blaze new trail for ESPN
>> Soccer America Magazine Archives