The mainstream media has picked up on the buzz that's been percolating for weeks now, that global-uber-persona David Beckham will be leaving the microscope of European soccer for the beaches of sunny California. The Times of London, ABC News, and ESPN Soccernet are all reporting what was first mentioned yesterday morning on the Fox News Channel, that Beckham will sign today with the LA Galaxy for $36million over four years and will join the MLS club this August after the La Liga season ends for Beckham's current team, Real Madrid.
Earlier this week, Galaxy owner AEG sold its DC United club for $33 million, so Uncle Phil Anschutz won't be dipping too deep into his piggy bank to land Beckham, who has already has a soccer academy based at the the Home Depot Center, LA's home field.
Beckham has played stateside a few times over the last few years; for England in their 2005 tour to New York and Chicago, and with Real Madrid in Utah last summer for their match with Real Salt Lake. Beckham even picked up a shovel at the RSL stadium "groundbreaking" project that has since stalled.
Should this news pan out, prepare for the inevitable "It won't matter" columns from the nation's blowhard fifty-something sports editors who constantly deride soccer. Prepare for Frank Deford, a big soccer hater and interviewer of Beckham for HBO's RealSports program a few years back, to state from his high horse that Beckham's arrival won't move MLS into the nation's sports consciousness.
Say this about the "new" MLS: the league is making waves during a traditionally quiet off-season period. Beckham's arrival may prod other teams to open their wallets for some quality talent. They're no denying, however, that an LA Galaxy squad with Beckham and Landon Donovan will clearly be favorites to win the MLS Cup in DC in November.
The Deuce is Loose
Congrats to Clint Dempsey for winning his work permit from the British Home Office. Dempsey should be introduced at Fulham's Craven Cottage today as the latest Yank to join the English Premier League. Go get 'em, Deuce.
I'm a media industry veteran and soccer fanatic since the days of the NASL. I've lived in and around New York City most of my life, and support the New York Red Bulls and the US Men's National Team.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org