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The Diminishing Beckham Factor

Ian Plenderleith compared David Beckham's visit last weekend to RFK Stadium to his previous seasons' appearances, which included a sellout crowd in 2007 of almost 47,000. "In 2008 when LA came to DC, that attendance dropped to just under 36,000. [This season's] crowd was slightly above 22,000. That's still well ahead of D.C. United's home average, but a fair reflection of the diminishing interest in the English celebrity.

"Two years ago there was an auxiliary press box to deal with the overflow of journalists, and a packed, extended press conference afterwards that yielded all manner of inane but chummy answers. This year, after an uninspiring 0-0 draw on a wet, humid night, a dozen or so scruffy hacks were allowed to shuffle into the LA changing room and get close enough to Beckham to smell his self-branded aftershave."

As for Beckham's performance? Not much besides a long-range shot that went wide in the 90th minute.

"Teammates no longer constantly pass him the ball, as they did when he first arrived," writes Plenderleith. "And he no longer constantly seeks it. LA has made considerable improvements under [Coach Bruce] Arena this season, and started to gel before Beckham's return from AC Milan. It's as though he's been grandfathered in to the LA midfield, wandering around and receiving the ball occasionally out of charity to see if he can still deliver a 50-yard pass (he can, about 50 percent of the time). But now that everyone knows he doesn't really want to be here, you can't help but look at him and wonder 'What's the point?'"
 
This Saturday, Beckham and the Galaxy take on Home Depot Center co-tenant Chivas USA (ESPN2, 11 pm ET).

Read the whole story at When Saturday Comes »

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