Bye, Bye Beckham

David Beckham

David Beckham

Football will need to find another hero to raise its stature in America.  Of course, I am referring to the truly international game of football, or soccer for all of you Statesiders.

Today’s news that David Beckham will stay with AC Milan before making a final cameo later this summer with the Los Angeles Galaxy (in so-called Major League Soccer) cements a dismal attempt by all involved to match one of the world’s most well-known active footballers with a league full of amateurish play.

Granted, the Galaxy are thrilled with the 600,000 Beckham jerseys that have been sold in the last couple years, but the results on the field have been brutal.  Beckham’s relatively meager output of 5 goals and 12 assists in 30 games played are due in no small measure to the lack of talent surrounding him.

But, with a two-year combined record of 17-27-16 (including a league-worst record in 2008), it has been immediately clear that Beckham would not be joining Kobe Bryant or Pete Carroll in captivating the Los Angeles sports scene.  Winning matters in L.A.

And, quite frankly, the American sports fan knows the difference between the hype machine that was Beckham’s introduction to the States and a legitimate league sporting the world’s best players.  There was never a chance that Beckham could singlehandedly make the kind of impact required to lift MLS above its second-tier level of competition.

Soccer will not reach “major league” status anytime soon in the U.S.  The small ripples that stirred in Beckham’s wake will be nothing more than blips in the end.  The world’s best play in foreign lands and soccer afficionados in the U.S. ultimately need to accept this and appreciate the professional offering in America for what it is – a minor league version of a truly wonderful sport.

As for Beckham himself?  He proved to be nothing more than a shooting star.

And don’t get too excited about picking up tickets for one of the Galaxy’s games in the final 3 months of the MLS season.  At Beckham’s age (34 in May) and with his recent injury history along with his commitments to the English national team, the odds are extremely low to expect him to play in every one of those 13 games. 

If you must go, I’d recommend buying your tickets on the day of the game.  Not that you should have a problem finding a seat.

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~ by acm213 on March 2, 2009.

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