Friday, January 12, 2007

Beckham's On His Way

Yesterday, Major League Soccer made a stunning announcement that David Beckham, one of the world's biggest soccer stars and athletes, had agreed to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy beginning after his contract with Real Madrid of Spain expires this June 30. Beckham agreed to a five-year deal that could net him as much as $250 million in salary and endorsements.

The MLS needed a megastar to put the league on the map, and Beckham, the former England captain, fits that bill. There have been comparisons made to when the New York Cosmos signed Pele in 1975, and it gave the struggling NASL instant credibility. Beckham should do that easily. The Galaxy sold over 1,000 season tickets in one day alone yesterday right after the news broke.

Beckham isn't best player in the world, but probably the best known. Most Americans know him as the guy who had a movie named after him, "Bend It Like Beckham." He is widely known for his bending free kicks, and that's where that name came from.

It had been widely speculated that Beckham would eventually come to the US when his European career came to an end. He's played 15 years for Manchester United and Real Madrid, and he's still young at 31. (When Pele came to the Cosmos, he was the best player in the world at 34.) And of course, he'd play for L.A. because of his wife, Victoria Adams, the former "Posh Spice."

No matter what Beckham gets paid, he'll be worth it for L.A. and the MLS. He'll bring interest in soccer in America back to the Pele-levels, and that will benefit everyone, especially the sport, which needed a major boost if it wants to move up another level on the American sports scene.

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