Jump to content

Beckham's MLS debut in Toronto - Aug 5


Recommended Posts

New York — David Beckham will visit every Major League Soccer city after his U.S. arrival in mid-July, and television viewers will see lots of him.

The former England captain likely will make his MLS debut Aug. 5 at Toronto, according to the MLS schedule released Tuesday. But he could don his Galaxy shirt for the first time in late July when Los Angeles plays in the SuperLiga, an eight-team exhibition event between MLS and Mexican clubs.

The Galaxy play Mexico's Chivas on July 24 at home, against Pachuca on July 28 and travel three days later to play at FC Dallas, the only MLS team that will not see Beckham during the regular season.

Sixteen of the Los Angeles Galaxy's final 17 games are scheduled to be broadcast nationally.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

From LA Daily News


Is Becks the real deal?


Article Last Updated: 01/13/2007 10:54:06 PM PST

So, how many wins is an obsessive-compulsive, over-groomed, globetrotting, thirtysomething Spice Boy worth?

David Beckham is not just a midfielder. But neither is Beckham just a celebrity. The hundreds of columns written this week about the English star's quarter-billion-dollar move to the Los Angeles Galaxy are full of claptrap about how he'll be judged by his impact on the growth of association football in his new country instead of his effect on the results of his new club - as if the two can be separated.

It's an insult to American fans, the idea that a sport's popularity can outpace its quality.

Importing one of the greatest players of his generation is the first step in improving Major League Soccer, but it depends on his helping the Galaxy get back the MLS championship. If the team keeps losing, the non-soccer public drawn to Carson by the spectacle will view this much-hyped transaction as a fraud. If the games don't get better, the aficionados will keep ignoring the second-rate U.S. product in favor of the English and Mexican matches on TV.

I'll trust Beckham and his new bosses when they say they know it.

After acknowledging his "ambassador role," Beckham said this week, "I'm coming there not to be the superstar, but to be part of a team, and hopefully to win things."

Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, later said, "If we go out there and embarrass ourselves (because) our players are a bunch of individuals who don't work together, this whole thing goes up in smoke."

During Friday's introductory news conference at a Marina del Rey hotel, for which Beckham appeared in a video satellite hookup from Madrid, there was some loose talk about aiming to turn the Galaxy into one of the best clubs in the world.

If you don't already see that they are many more star signings away from the elite, refer back to the Galaxy's exhibition game against Real Madrid in the summer of 2005, when Beckham was still a regular for one of Spain's marquee franchises. Actually, it was an exhibition for Real Madrid, which was in the equivalent of spring training. It was a serious opportunity for the Galaxy, which was in midseason and a rare spotlight. Real won 2-0, Beckham having a couple of moments, a shot on goal and a free kick from the left side that put the crowd on the edge of its seats in anticipation (he mis-hit it and limped away with a muscle pull), while Zinedine Zidane, Michael Owen and Roberto Soldado were making the Galaxy look like the Washington Generals.

Now - or sometime in August after his Real contract expires, in a redesigned and yet-to-be-unveiled L.A. jersey, bearing the number 23 - Beckham will switch sides but hardly shift the global balance of power.

The Galaxy, with a trophy of some kind in five of 10seasons before its painful 2006, has been one of the the MLS leaders - its first profitable outfit - while the league has ridden the 1994 World Cup popularity wave all the way to the sand.

The time has come for the Galaxy to lead by example, by proving the value of big-money upgrades.

All of the Beckhams' Hollywood appeal will become a joke if the putative man in the family isn't feeding Galaxy goal-scorers.

Once Beckham draws in the "eyeballs" Leiweke covets, what will those fans see? When the whistle blows, there will be questions to answer that have nothing to do with Victoria Beckham's favorite Rodeo Drive addresses.

After being accused of slowing down England's disappointing World Cup squad last summer, losing his spot on the national team and riding the bench for Real Madrid, will the soon-to-be-32-year-old Beckham look quicker against MLS competition? Should Beckham stay in his usual position, floating crossing passes from the right side of midfield, which would mean moving Cobi Jones from his longtime role? Or should Beckham go to the center, behind Landon Donovan, where he can be on the ball more?

"Just because he's coming to the Galaxy, he's not going to be a different player," Jones said. "But some more may be asked of him. I wouldn't be surprised to see David in the middle, distributing the ball."

Midfielder Peter Vanegas started forming his impression of Beckham when he was at UCLA, without cable on his television set, watching Manchester United highlight videotapes. This was in the late '90s, when Beckham was helping Man U to the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles.

"I can only remember his floppy hair, crossing balls to people like Dwight Yorke," Vanegas said. "I particularly remember him scoring with that free kick against my home country of Greece. I don't know why they keep replaying that."

Vanegas refers to the 2001goal, from nearly 30yards, that put England in the 2002 World Cup.

Thinking of Beckham's flair with a stationary ball, Vanegas noted that the Galaxy scored one goal from a corner kick last season.

"This year's going to be different," defender Tyrone Marshall said with a grin.

For us Americans, with a league desperately in need of Beckham's international class, it's ridiculous to complain he's not the player he used to be. He wasn't the reason England flopped out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals.

His free kicks and crosses produced the key goals in all three England wins.

It's cute but silly to suggest that for $250million, Beckham won't even be the best player on the Home Depot Center field. The Galaxy should hope he's pleasantly surprised by the quality of young U.S. players, but it shouldn't expect him to be intimidated.

A man who's willing to risk his reputation to lead this decade's long-shot effort to make soccer big in America isn't going to be intimidated by much, is he?

Fortunately, he seems to know that he can't transcend soccer here unless he makes soccer better here.

"I work hard," Beckham said when somebody asked what he hopes to bring to the team. "I take quite good free kicks and corners."

So we've heard. Now we have to see.

Kevin Modesti's column appears in the Daily News three days a week.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You wonder if Capello is actually happy about it?

Becks might not be as talented as his celebrity might lead you to believe (if you were only a casual fan of the game) but he is usually an excellent taker of spot kicks and he is still an excellent crosser of the ball. Jacqua and Donavan are going to score a lot of goals in the air for Galaxy this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...