Blog template Rock the Crossbar: Beckham reaffirms desire to play in States

Rock the Crossbar

Tuesday, April 11

Beckham reaffirms desire to play in States

I'm sure Crewfan and his ilk will see this as an affirmation of how the MLS has arrived. I disagree with that and don't see him coming over any time soon. I also don't think he would do well at 36 or whatever age he arrives. George Best said of Beckham: "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right." My fear is that if he does arive and does not set the world alight Sam's Army fanatics will see this a sign of American strength. On the other side if he became involved with the domestic game and his academy it could increase the visibility of the game but at what price. The game has not caught on in the US in part because it's not perceived as "macho". Beckham would do nothing to dispel that notion. I think he should retire and give the US a miss.


  • As silly as the thought of dragging an aging Beckham over here is, one potentially good thing about this is that it may signal some inching away from the single-entity structure of MLS. While I'm willing to buy that single-entity kept the league from making some of the same mistakes the NASL did, it's clearly in the league's best interest to move away from it as soon as it reasonably can (when that is, of course, is open to debate). What's behind the Beckham story is the notion that the league would retain control of contracts with a strict salary cap in place with one exception - each team would be able, on its own, to go out on the open market to find a player and then pay him whatever they like without any interference from the league (cue Guinness ad - Find your own players and function as a club? Brilliant!). One way or another, Beckham will land in LA. The only question is whether, like Klinsmann, he'll land on a semi-pro club playing under an assumed name while running his super duper academy or just throw on a Galaxy shirt to prop up an 80-year-old Cobi Jones.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 9:48 AM  

  • Does anyone still enjoy watching Brett Favre play football? Is there anything worse than an aging, past-his-prime prizefighter stepping into the ring?

    I don't care where David Beckham finishes his career, or what city he lives in with his trampy wife...what I do care about is someone taking a roster spot in MLS from someone more deserving (or, similarly, someone who might have the chance of being on the US roster in the future). As well, I believe that the money could be well spent elsewhere - regardless of single entity status or other. And if someone can name ONE professional soccer player, in any league around the world, who was developed out of a star's youth "academy," I would love to hear about it. This racket is just a cash cow rip-off like so many others. I've been to the academy web site and checked out the coaching staff. In a word, awful.

    Let's hope that MLS does not continue to encourage the signing of washed up, tired, foreign veterans. Not saying that Becks is there yet in his game, but we could sure use a lot more of the Cienfuegos types than Matthaus, etc, etc, ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 3:32 PM  

  • I have no real problem with Beckham going to play there - he will really raise the profile of the MLS to some extent - its not like he is Steve Guppy and other has beens, he is one of the most recognisable faces in world sport. If he turns out to be crap then people can boo him , every paying fan's right. If a club can own his cnotract then finally MLS will be a bit more respectable to me, though they still need to knock down RFK and move the DC team to a soccer stadium before I can care.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 11:54 AM  

  • And get rid of that playoff shite too.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:05 PM  

  • Things to change about MLS:

    1. Playoffs. If they insist on having some kind of post-season tournament, at least make it more selective.
    2. Stadia. Get everyone into a stadium built for soccer if at all possible. Unfortunately, convincing Bob Kraft of the need to put the Revs in a new stadium he would have to pay for after funding Gilette might be...well...tricky. Still, he might just get it given that the family will ultimately make money in another venue, as well.
    3. Conferences. Please, just stick everyone in one league table.
    4. Single entity. Here's the trick. This won't change until the league has more owners, and I don't want bozo owners coming in who won't fix the other stuff above.
    5. If you get this other stuff right, then fine, bring Beckham over, although I agree with GAC that this shouldn't come at the expense of younger, hungrier, more interesting players either from the US or somewhere else in the region.

    Seriously, having suffered through other experiments in the United States, I'm willing to put up with single entity for a while longer if they get the other things right. But I recognize the other stuff is aggravating. Oh and another thing...I understand FIFA is getting pushier about MLS playing off cycle with the rest of the world. Get the right kind of venues built, take a winter break, and we're good to go.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 5:53 PM  

  • I would actually vote for glazer shmazer as MLS Commissioner!

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 9:26 PM  

  • I suppose for #3 it comes down to the fact that the US is such a big country. Then again, Brazil and Russia seem to handle it ok.

    For #1, just have a regular league and a cup. The purists will appreciate both just like they do everywhere else. The best team will win the league and anybody can win the cup. MLS might already have a cup so excuse my ignorance if it does.

    The people they are trying to win over with playoffs are just not winnable. They need to stop pandering to the Football and Hockey crowd.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 10:43 AM  

  • There is, indeed, a cup competition already in place, although it's not exclusive to MLS (and a non-MLS team has won it since the league came along). The U.S. Open Cup dates to the early part of the 20th century and is modeled on the FA Cup. They've gone and stuck Alan Rothenberg's name on the trophy, I think, which is unfortunate but understandable.

    I'm not sure, but I think the Mexican league has a playoff system of some kind in place, so I wouldn't be shocked if the league would justify having playoffs by suggesting that Mexican fans need to be won over in this manner. Pandering by any other name...

    Conferences were established to create rivalries, or so we were told. This seems to have worked in a few isolated cases (Dallas v. Chicago has grown to mean something to the people involved), but geography will always trump any artificial structure. You don't need an Eastern Conference to create rivalry among teams in Boston, New York, and DC.

    I absolutely agree that they should keep the purists foremost in mind, although I think it's interesting that FSC (and select others before them) came along to tap that market at the same time time as MLS. Which market created and sustains the other is open to debate, though I hope we could all agree that none of this is ironic.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 11:21 AM  

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