Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beckham Update: Soccer Star Carries League on Capable Back

Anyone initiated into the world of soccer would say it was written in the stars that David Beckham, also known around the globe as "Goldenballs", would make a Hollywood scriptworthy start to his MLS career. And by all accounts, they would have been right. Known for his miraculous feats of soccer skill under the most daunting of pressure, Becks has now executed a clinically perfect free kick and created three other glorious goals in only his first two LA Galaxy starts. His team is happy, the fans are happy, and most of all, the MLS is happy. Or rather, deeply, deeply grateful.

One need not look any further than last Saturday's game against New York's Red Bulls that finished 5-4 in favor of the energy drink home side. With over 66,000 in attendance – unheard of for an MLS game – Beckham put the Galaxy ahead 2-1 before the 9th minute was up. The rest of the game would see chance after chance after chance, with Beckham in the center of most of the thrilling action. One could say the bar has truly been set for the league, and it wouldn't be a stretch for any cognescenti or casual observer to say that the man from England by way of Spain was solely responsible. His very presence on the field (thanks in large part to his sex symbol status), coupled with the atmosphere generated by the hysteria, created a perfect storm of arousing athleticism that will not soon be forgotten. There was truly something for everyone, which is the American way in the business of entertainment, and for the movers and shakers of Major League Soccer, that is very good news indeed.

I saw the game and it was one of the most entertaining competitions I have ever seen. I marveled at the skill on display, and the humility of the man who would be king. In fact, I had to laugh. It was too perfect. The result mattered little outside of the spectacle, and the action itself was far from what American audiences have come to expect from the "little league that could". That said, is there now too much expectation on the league to deliver so spectacularly week in and week out? I don't know. But if I had any money invested in even the meekest of MLS franchises, I would be treating myself to a steak this weekend.

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