In light of David Beckham’s re-signing with the LA Galaxy, I wondered to myself one thing (which is also in the poll on the bottom right hand side of your screen). Is this move good or bad for his career?
Wait, I know exactly what you’re going to say. That he’s staying because he’s a superstar in LA and because his family loves it in America, blah blah blah. Let’s look at this from a soccer- ahem, football- standpoint. Beckham’s already said that he wants to win more than the one championship he won this past season. I mean, if you’ve won one, you might as well go for another, right? And Beckham’s going to be in LA for at least two more seasons. It just gives you an idea about the sacrifices for his career that he made for MLS and America, something I was almost certain he wouldn’t make.
He was a huge part of the MLS version of the “Big Three”, along with Landon Donovan and Irishman Robby Keane, who came over in a transfer late in the season and ended up keying the playoff run. Even though LA is in a bit of trouble early on with star defender Omar Gonzalez gone for probably the entire season with a knee injury, Beckham has high hopes for LA, otherwise I don’t think he’d be here at all.
I said before that I expected him to leave. I’m a huge MLS fan and I want it to succeed more than almost anyone. I even wrote about how it can get better. The fact that likely the most recognizable footballer in sports, who’s recognized by non-sports fans and sports fans alike, wants to stay in a still developing soccer league is stunning to me. And it’s also completely selfless.
The thing that might have stunned me the most is how Beckham shook off so much money, to go to so much more prestigious teams, and instead chose to play in the Home Depot Arena. If that doesn’t say something, I don’t know what does. Paris Saint-Germain wanted him really badly, the Qatari owners of the club were willing to pay a fortune for an 18 month tenure. There were several rumors of Beckham going back to English clubs, such as Tottenham, where Henry Redknapp, the manager, was excited by the prospects. The point is this: David Beckham could have gone anywhere in the world except America. But he chose to stay in the USA. What does that say about his confidence in the MLS?
David Beckham will be 37 in a few short months, but talent’s not an issue. He led the team in assists last season, and the only thing he needs to improve from last season was his goals, interestingly enough.
If I’m Don Garber, the commissioner of MLS, I am really excited and anxious for the season to kick off. David Beckham, the highest-profile player your league has ever signed, agreed to stay for 2 more years and 7 total when his contract runs out? Garber has to be ecstatic right now. This is a huge burst of confidence in MLS and in the ability to attract quality players and make the MLS a great league.
I might be very wrong, maybe Beckham decided to stay in LA because of family alone, but I doubt it. He’s got to be excited to start the new MLS season, which will be its longest yet, and a big part of the MLS’ recent success is due to the English superstar.