Friday, July 13, 2007

Bend It Like Who?

So with the sports world a bit dormant in the wake of the MLB All-Star Game it seemed like all the talk was about David Beckham coming to Hollywood to save the MLS. First off, I just can't believe that there's about to be back-to-back soccer-related posts on TSF!

Now, in relation to the topic, Beckham was introduced to the hometown fans (about 5,000 of them) today. I didn't see the press conference live, but I was able to see some bits and pieces afterwards. I don't doubt that he is a great player and will be great for the Galaxy but he will not save the MLS. He will sell a few more tickets (mostly foreigners, hardcore fans, and women) but I don't see any drastic boom coming. He is 32 years old and on the definite downslide of his European career.

To be truthful everyone should know that he came here for the money. He's getting $32.5 million in salary in addition to what should be endless endorsement deals. Plus, you just know that him and his wife are sure to have some kind of a reality show or something. So, he's here for the money but that's not all. To be realistic I think he's here to try and rejuvenate his career also. The MLS just isn't European soccer... let's be honest with ourselves. So, as he gets older whey not come over here and play for ridiculous cash and try to clean up on some worse competition and prolong his greatness?

I don't fault him for any of that because I think anybody else in their right mind (myself included) would do the same. However I just don't see him saving the MLS. He isn't going to make more kids like or play soccer. Hell, virtually ever single kid in America plays soccer at some point. It doesn't matter how athletic you are or whatever parents can put kids on the field and let them run and frolic and try and kick the ball. The problem is, is that when they go home they don't turn on the MLS. They hurry home to watch the NFL, NBA, or MLB. He can't possibly make kids play much more soccer. He might convert a few but by no means can he save the MLS.

While Ming points out that US National Soccer is on the rise I couldn't agree more. US national soccer has a very bright and exciting future in front of it, however I think the MLS is not much better off with Beckham than they were without him. Look for Beckham to do well and look for a little more buzz and airtime for the MLS but nothing drastic. However I can't see him being the league's savior.

1 comment:

stephen a said...

I think it's awesome that Beckham is coming to the MLS. He is on the downside, but he's still a good enough player to get it done in Europe. He probably won't be the savior, but he'll get other players like him interested in coming over to the MLS to end their careers. The bottom line is Western Hemisphere soccer won't ever be as good as European soccer because they dont have things like the Champions League or UEFA Cup and other major competitions.