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David Beckham Arrives

Live blogging the biggest event in the history of the world.

--Well, Beckham is still doing TV interviews. He was with CNN a minute ago. Pat O'Brien was a feet away, saying "Welcome to David Beckham's America" into another camera. There are empty water bottles everywhere.

Since I left, I watched the Galaxy members play tennis, including Landon Donovan, wearing flip-flops. I asked Donovan to explain the madness; "well, he's handsome," Donovan joked about Beckham. "He walked into the locker room, and I was like, damn."

Outside the stadium, Fox Soccer Channel's Nick Webster was talking about "Beckhamania."

"It's hoopla, it's what Americans do best," he told me. "This country knows how to present somebody, how to turn something that's really not very interesting into an event. And today was an event, there's no two ways about it. I've covered soccer in this country for 10 years, and I've never seen anything close to what we're seeing today."

I should note that I stopped into the team store to look around, and suddenly the place was locked down and Posh Spice was standing a few feet away from me, snapping up Beckham merchandise. Soccer balls, warm-ups, jerseys. The final tally came to $583 and change. She saw me writing down her purchases.

"We've got to look good for the first game, right?" she told me. "We've got three boys, myself, my sister, my sister's children, my brother, my dad, David's family." I asked how many t-shirts she was buying.

"A lot," she said. "We've got a lot of family."

Speaking of merchandise, here are some numbers: 250,000 jerseys shipped, 42 luxury suites sold out, a Chelsea game that's already sold-out and will be the second-highest grossing game in team history, well over 10,000 season tickets. "David's paid for himself," Tim Leiweke, the president of Galaxy owners AEG said.

People will be asking what this all means for the league. The answer from nearly everyone here was, we have no idea.

"This is about a brand, this is about a sport and this is about an investment in this league," Leiweke said. "And we're hoping that ultimately the true impact of David is not dollars and cents but where we are in five years in the eyes of the world."

Webster agreed.

"This league is only 12 years old," he said. "Ask me in 10 years time. I'll have a better answer. I have my fingers crossed. I've prayed for the past 20 years that this sport we love will become something Americans embrace, and maybe Beckham's the man to do it."

--And Beckham speaks. Softly. Some highlights:

On the crowd today vs. his Real Madrid intro: "There was the same amount of people, maybe a little less when I signed with Real Madrid, but there was the same amount of press attention, maybe more this time again. It's nice to have 400 press here instead of 2. I'm very proud to be a part of today and proud to have so many fans come out to see me and so many press as well."

On MLS: "Well I know that it's a very competitive league .I know that tactically, actually I don't know too much about that because I've never played in the States...I think soccer in America has a lot of potential. Maybe something's missing to take it to another level, and I think I'm going to be part of that."

On any regrets about leaving Europa after his recent resurgence: "No regrets whatsoever. Even though I made this decision when I wasn't in the teams, I don't regret it. I needed a new challenge after my four years at Real Madrid, and I'm glad I ended that challenge at Madrid with a title. It couldn't have been any better...nNw I move on to another new challenge."

People Mag, of course, asked about TomKat: "They've welcomed us so far really amazingly, and it's nice to actually move somewhere, because when we moved to Madrid we didn't have any friends, we didn't know anybody...It's nice to have friends like Tom and Katie already."

On traffic: "I drove myself. Traffic was great actually. Going the other direction is was maybe different, but traffic was fine here today. It only took us like 50 minutes, which wasn't too bad."

On his teammates: "I think once obviously once I'm in with the lads and we're training for 2 or 3 days they'll see what I'm like as a person, they'll see that I just want to be part of the team. They've probably seen already in the last couple months since I've signed the contract the stuff that sort of surrounds me and comes with me as a person and a player. I've always handled it in the right way, I believe, and teammates, once they've had me on the team for a few days or a few weeks they realize.

"I went down to the changing room and they was all very friendly and they were laughing and joking, and Frank [Yallop] gave a little speech and said, 'It's probably going to be madness for a couple of weeks,' and the players laughed, "ok a couple months,' he said. I think we all realize that it will be a bit crazy for a while, but hopefully it will settle down and then we can get down to playing soccer and enjoying the game."

--While we're waiting for Becks to appear again (and how much would I rather be in the international suite than the U.S. suite), here's something worth reading from the L.A. Daily News, among many other places:

Carson's Home Depot Center boasts a newly-carved hole in its wall, complete with red carpet for celebrity patrons willing to shell out $50 on valet parking, just steps from their luxury suites.

Deep below the stadium is The Underground, a new invitation-only club for the young, hip and soccer-savvy who sit in exclusive field side seats ($500 apiece for Becks' expected first game July 21 against England's Chelsea).

I think RFK would be the perfect spot for an underground club. There are all these weird dugout caves in the RFK bowels, filled with old team banners and side boards and random construction materials. I can see people paying $500 to hang out down there and drink martinis or something.

--A reliable source tells me Beckham is now in the first, international media suite. We're next. The anticipation is....well, after the confetti cannon and the lusty booing of the mayor of L.A., I think I'm plum out of anticipation.

--And there's Becks again on the field, trailed by a posse of, I don't know, 30 people and 30 youth players. Looks like about 200 media people remaining on the field level, waiting for who knows what at this point. Becks and crew just went down a tunnel back into the Home Depot Center's bowels.

Have I mentioned yet that the Galaxy are a fifth-place club, out of six? Or that ESPN plans to have 19 cameras for what's essentially an exhibition against Chelsea next week, complete with a "Beckham Cam" and a "Celebrity Cam." Or that NBC is showing its Posh Spice hour-long documentary on Monday, I believe?

All the fans have vanished. Here's hoping they're still out in the parking lots, beating on drums. (And on cue, some dude just started pounding on a snare drum.)

-- Now the PA guy is on the stadium sound system, directing all the cameramen down on the field. He's saying that here are signs on gates, dividing everyone up, six or seven media people per quadrant, whatever that means. "David" will apparently be down there in the field-level mixed zone in about 10 minutes or so. "Everyone will get a sound bite," the PA guy is promising. Up in the luxury suites, all the media people are clustered around the windows, staring down at these mysterious quadrants.

I still can't stop thinking about those confetti cannons. Those were great. D.C. United needs some of those.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, he of the Backham cover story this week, just received a call beckoning him out of this event suite. The rest of us are doomed to potentially hours of potato chips and wasabi mix.

--So the formal presentation ended with Lalas announcing the beginning of the games, and then chaos: Posh began striking poses again, the photogs obliged, the fans stormed the bleachers to do I'm not sure what, some Galaxy supporters continued chanting, Becks was ushered off somewhere, and a lot of media people were shepherded chaotically into various "event suites" based on color-coded dots on their credentials. There are 30 or so people in my suite ("Event Suite No. 2). I've never seen anything remotely like this, not remotely.

The Brits are apparently in Event Suite No. 1, to accommodate their wacky British deadlines. That's next door. I'd expect at least some blood to be spilled.

--Oh my. Now Alexi is introducing the mayor of Carson, and talking about how you can get Galaxy gear at The Sports Authority. Awesome. 750 media members from around the world, here to hear about The Sports Authority and the mayor of Carson, California.

Soon, Lalas was mentioning Chivas, and fans were booing again, and he was saying "there you go."

"Thank you, and let the games begin," Lalas concluded, to mild applause. The Games? What games? Seriously, this isn't the Olympics.

Then Becks gave another thumbs-up to the crowd. I want to see those confetti cannons blast off again.

--Ok, that was one of the more ridiculous things I've ever seen.

"If you have a camera, this might be a good time to take the lens cap off," Lalas said, and then he introduced Beckham, and took out the kit, and these massive cannons began spewing tens of thousands of pieces of confettie into the air, and Galaxy staffers on the upper decks threw fistfulls down on the fans, and triumphant music played, and everyone stood. This is for an introductory press conference, remember.

"In our life, everything's perfect," Becks said. "For me, the most important thing in life is my family. Next is footba...soccer. Sorry, I'll get used to that."

"FOOTBALLLLLLLLL" yelled the Galaxy supporters.

Etc. Then the mayor got introduced, to absolute massive boos. Alexi Lalas tried not to laugh

"WHO SAYS LOS ANGELES DOESN'T LOVE SOCCER!!!!!!" the mayor yelled, after some more booing.

--Now Coach Yallop. "It's been a long wait, believe me," he's saying. "The team cannot wait to get him on the field." Then he said he's the final piece of the Galaxy's puzzle. Realy?

"WE CAN'T HEAR YOU," fans are yelling.

Alexi Lalas is introducing past and current players. Chris Albright?

"There's so many others that have come forward that know what it means to be a part of the Galaxy family," Lalas is saying.

--"This is truly a historic day," MLS Commish Don Garber is saying. "It's a moment we should all cherish."

Becks is wearing grey, Alexi Lalas (Galaxy GM) is wearing blue, the fans are alternatively chanting and fanning themselves, and every media person is either taping this, shooting still photos, transmitting quotes live via cell phone, etc.

"He is the right man, because he's more than just a terrific player," Garber is saying. "Something with tremendous character, tremendous integrity, something that I think American sports fans will cherish.....So David...I really want to welcome you as well as your entire family to the United States." Then he said it in Spanish, and all the Galaxy fans booed. Loudly.

"Thank you for your belief in Major League Soccer," Garber is saying. "Together all of us can be living in a more powerful soccer nation."

--Whoa, Posh just showed up, in a tight pink-purple dress, wearing shades. She struck a pose for the photogs (maybe 40 or 50 of them by the VIP area), and held it for 60 seconds. Literally, the same pose, for 60 seconds. Then the Galaxy supporters started chanting "One Of Us, One of Us, One of Us," as she waved at them, repeatedly. Someone unveiled a big gold banner: "Bend it Like Golden Balls." Posh waved again, and was greeted with another ovation. Ovations will be cheap today.

"Ok, it's official, I've never seen anything like that before," said the woman from German radio behind me.

-- The VIP's are filing in. I don't know who they are, but they're tan, and on cell phones, and wearing sunglasses. There is not a cloud in the sky, and it's well into the 70s and climbing, and all the fans and media schlubs and even VIP's are sitting dead in the middle of the heat. We're all going to die of sun poisoning before Mr. Becks arrives.

And what would an event like this be like without people holding ESPN acronym signs: Extra Special Player Now here. Thats' really ESPNH, but whatever.

I'm sitting next to a guy who came from from Honduras for this, behind a guy from the Sunday Times of London, and in front of two women from Germany. A camera man from Ryan Seacrest's program just climbed over me. My computer is threatening to catch fire.

-- I got to the Home Depot Center at 8:30 am, Pacific, straight from LAX. I rolled in with a bunch of Escalades, as a helicopter circled overhead. Welcome Becks, I guess.

I quickly found the line for the media check-in, which had well over 100 people in it despite six ticket windows open. Camera after camera after camera. There were at least 10 cameras just filming the media line.The team received more than 600 media applications from more than a dozen countries, but lots of folks are showing up unannounced. The expected media turnout is more than 700.

"I've never seen anything like this before," was the quote I got from media people, but so many people were saying it it's hardly worth mentioning them by name.

"It's at least three times as long as any red carpet event," said Rick Sproxton, the longtime LA-based camera man for Australia's Network Ten.

"I've shot the Oscars before; this is bigger than the Oscars," freelance photographer Branimir Kvartuc told me. "Insane. Insane. I can't believe it. I've definitely never seen anything like this."

Yeah, me neither. This makes the Olympics look like a middle school track meet, and I'm not even being facetious.
Inside the stadium, there is a podium for the participants on the field, many hundreds of Galaxy fans doing various cheers and more media than I've ever seen in one place. Luckily, the Galaxy supporters are concentrating on what's really important.

"You hate Chivas, I hate Chivas, We hate Chivas, Chivas sucks," they keep chanting.

The Galaxy, minus Becks, are supposed to start training in an hour. I'm guessing they usually don't train in front of 750 media members from around the world. Better get used to it.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 13, 2007; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Next: Son Volt Does Beckham

Comments

I hope Drogba shows up and we get a little Vargas/Mayorga scuffle.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | July 13, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the world to see how much Alan Gordon sucks.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 13, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Go Steinberger. You big cheese, you.

Posted by: Dave | July 13, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Please Steinz, whatever you do, do not mention "the Beckhams' friends/neighbors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes". Be a trailblazer. Seriously, why the hell can't anyone (other than the Bog) write about this without mentioning Beckham's wacky Xenuphile friends?

Posted by: PeteJayhawk | July 13, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is not a popular man these days. That was some good booing.

Posted by: Signal to Noise | July 13, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Las Vegas with NY and parents, OPEC, now LA with Beck-ham? What next?

Posted by: AUinMD | July 13, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

So now you've covered this and a Barra Brava Mini-Golf Tournament. You've got the full spectrum of MLS covered.

Soccer Insider be damned.

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I really don't care about another superstar from Europe coming to the MLS. He is on the downside of his career.

On the upside, have you be watching the US U-20 kids. Marvelously coached by Thomas Rongen and with talent we haven't seen before. Some of these youngsters will be on our next World Cup team (2010)and they should make a big difference. If the US can keep developing players in this manner, the US will be a contender on the world stage in the near future. Adu, Bradley, Szetela amd a healthy Altidore will be forces which will have to be taken into account. The win over Uruguay was big.

The US beating Brasil wasn't a really big deal as Brasil hasn't the same strength as in past years. Never count them out as their player development is the best in the world.

Posted by: International Fan | July 13, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, those wacky Galaxy fans. They boo Spanish.

Posted by: the cheat | July 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, how come my cable doesn't carry 'ESPNH'? Or wait, is that ESPN - Deportes?

Posted by: DCAustinite | July 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

They should be the Carson Galaxy. Why is the LA mayor there? He should be home in bed with a reporter.

Posted by: MLS Kind of Sucks | July 13, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

this is tremendous

Posted by: littles | July 13, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't they called the Carson Galaxy? Why is the LA mayor there? He should be home in bed with a reporter.

Posted by: MLS Kind of Sucks-Watch GOLTV | July 13, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Ask Beckham about Cheese, microbrews and if he's going to cry when DC United beats the pants off him at RFK.

We've got an Argie on our team. Viva La Duscher! Viva la Simeone!

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | July 13, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This is, hands-down, the best blog post I have ever read on any subject, ever.

Posted by: Lexi L. | July 13, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I've got ESPNFD.

ESPN-HatesDavidbeckham!

Posted by: ESPNHD | July 13, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I've got ESPNHD.

ESPN-HatesDavidbeckham!

Posted by: ESPNHD | July 13, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

No, you have ESPNDP - ESPN Double Post.

Posted by: DCAustinite | July 13, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It must have been very bright in LAX. The Beckham spice girl had on some pretty big sunglasses

Posted by: Don't Get It | July 13, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I'm late to the conversation. David who (cares)?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 13, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Why were they booing the mayor?

Posted by: Emily | July 13, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Since you're there, see if any Galaxy players (or Grant Wahl) are willing to help with some experiments dropping things from Home Depot Center.

I recommend starting with Alexi Lalas.

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

That's crazy, The Man is 32 years old, how good could he be ?

Posted by: Dafir | July 13, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Unsilent,

Drogba would show up, "bump" into Lalas, and end up on his back, writhing in agony - then he would demand a PK.

Then Lalas would put his hand on Drogba's shoulder and that whining, diving wanker up to his ears of Russian mob money would fall over like the last pillar of the Caps Center back in 2002.

Posted by: the cheat | July 13, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Good thing all those Devon McTavish conversations have prepared you for this.

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

So are you telling me that Drew Carey will no longer be the biggest celeb at Gals games?

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Drew will still be the BIGGEST.

If TOAStick isn't careful, Drew might just eat her as a snack.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | July 13, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

But Steinz, if they put something under RFK, they're bound to run into the tunnels the run around from the Capitol, to the Whitehouse, to all the Congressional buildings.

Nothing ruins a "hip and happening" party more than a 60 year old senator who took a wrong turn looking for the Senate Cafeteria.

Posted by: burd | July 13, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

YAWN! Another over paid stooge
lands in LA LA Land, and he's going
to play a sport LESS popular than the
NHL.

Posted by: caphcky | July 13, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Drogba in the States? You've got to be kidding. Drogba is still at the top of his game.

The US Major Soccer League is where broken-down old players go to die.

Posted by: OD | July 13, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@caphcky: Err... you haven't seen the NHL's TV ratings and stadium/arena attendance lately, have you?

Posted by: burdman | July 13, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Becks is not over the hill. He is 32 but he has been in great form over the past few months, and he is playing on the English national team. He might not be at the top of his game, but he is not playing terribly, rather playing well...hell, Real Madrid tried to get him out of his contract with the Galaxy and Capello said letting Becks go was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made.

BUT...let us all keep in mind that Becks is not a flashy player. He will not dominate games. He will play tough defense, he will make good passes under pressure, and he will set up his teammates with some of the best service anyone could ask for.
All of these things will be difficult for people who don't know the sport to appreciate.
My hope is that becks scores off of free kicks, because people will be able to see and appreciate them regardless of their knowledge of the game.
But really, as fans of the MLS we should hope that Becks is successful. The MLS can't afford for him not to be.

Posted by: bribri | July 13, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The Beckhams seem a little confused. She's wearing sunglasses at night, and they appear to have left their children behind.

Wait till David opens his mouth. His voice has all the timbre of a homosexual hamster.

Posted by: OD | July 13, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't care, if Beckham is so good, then in the next game they play let him go out and play by himself. It's a team sport.

Posted by: R. Gonzalez | July 13, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"I really don't care about another superstar from Europe coming to the MLS. He is on the downside of his career."

Who's feeding you that knowledge, Tony Kornheiser? Beckham was a massive part in Real Madrid's second half title push (ask Capello), then Madrid offered to match the Galaxy deal so he'd stay and he was recalled to the England side. Which of those things lead you to believe he's on the "downside" of his career?

Posted by: Kev | July 13, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

PS bribri, you're right, I was just being mean and facetious. He has been in good form. Actually, he's a lot closer to his best years than any other big-name MLS signing I can remember, so I suppose he represents a big step forward.

It's a pity that, as you say, he's not really a goalscorer or a flashy dribbler.

Posted by: OD | July 13, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or does the mustachioed Alexi Lalas look like a gay pornstar?

Posted by: d | July 13, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"YAWN! Another over paid stooge
lands in LA LA Land, and he's going
to play a sport LESS popular than the
NHL."

Umm, your inferiority complex is hanging out

Posted by: Kev | July 13, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Of course he's on the downside, he's 32. He is enjoying a late run of form, but we know it can't last.

Posted by: OD | July 13, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

""Umm, your inferiority complex is hanging out""

Bet he drives a hulking SUV/Expedition too.

Posted by: d | July 13, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

This blog is hilarious, strange, and mildly fascinating.

Posted by: Mr.Bill | July 13, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Admit it Steinz, you were the guy who asked about the traffic... It was your journalistic duty.

Posted by: Arrrlington | July 13, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Kev,

Thirty-two is on the downside in the international game. Beckham is going to stay put on his side of midfield and trot only when he has to. My comments aren't meant to be malicious, only obvious. We all age. Look at Ronaldo, he can only charge occasionally and he will be 31 in September. MLS even tried to get Zidane who is now 35.

England wanted Beckham back because he is English and a draw there. MLS wanted him in LALA him because it is LALA.

OD is partially right, "The US Major Soccer League is where broken-down old players go to die". Beckham is approaching that. Zidane is there.

Posted by: International Fan | July 13, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

IF - I definitely see a lot of those point. I'd be dead against a Zidane move, but honestly I think Beckham is a good fit. Of course he's no spring chicken at 32, there's no denying that. But how many years did Preki own this league after 30? And Preki was a very average Premiership player in his prime.

The positive with Beckham (other than the marketing) is that he's an honest, hardworking player - something that surprises a lot of people. While not particularly good at running with the ball or tackling, he finds ways to impact matches. It really doesn't take much to cut apart MLS defenses (not a rip, just a fan observation).

We'll see if and how long he lasts. I'd say he can be a quality player here for 3 or 4 more seasons.

Posted by: Kev | July 13, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

For the life of me I cannot think of a reason, other than money, why Jose Mourinho would risk Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Sheva, or any of the other Chelsea players against a clearly less talented MLS club in the LA Galaxy. With the Prem League starting up next month this can't be more than a TV money making event for Chelsea. Nothing would be worse for Chelsea than to have a player injured in this practice scrimmage.

As for Beckham, he's on the downside of a brilliant career but MLS is making the same mistake NASL made 30 years ago. Overpaying for once great talent that will eventually bankrupt the league. Five million a year for Becks is outrageous for any MLS club to be paying.

Posted by: Glory, Glory Man United! | July 13, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The MLS is where broken-down old players go to get a tan. The English Championship division is where they go to die.

It's fun to have a laugh at the MLS, but it's getting better every year. It doesn't need to be the #1 sport in this country to be an excellent league, either. We've got 330 million. or 7 Englands. Besides, I'm sure we'll blow up the rest of the world sooner or later and then by being the only league left in the world, we'll be the best league in the world!

Posted by: DCAustinite | July 13, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Beckham is that he is what I call a dead-ball player, with few other skills other than bending the ball in free kicks. Zindane, with his superior ball-handling skills, would have been by far a more appropriate addition to the moribund MSL.

Posted by: ipanema | July 13, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

International Fan,

Are you really saying that McClaren called Beckham back in because he is a draw??? What had people stopped going to Wembley to the national side play??

The only thing more ignorant than thinking that Beckham's play lives up to his publicity, is to think his publicity implies he is a terrible player.

Real wasnt hurting for fans this spring when they put him back in the line up, and he wasnt called back into England's squad because he's married to a Spice Girl.

Say what you want about the media circus that surrounds him, but he still can play.

Please find me an interview when one of his teammates at Real or ManU questioned his work ethic or his ability.

Posted by: srfinger | July 13, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I never understand why people come on these boards and say MLS is bush league, another NASL and will flame out in two years.

Why do you care then? Go bother the Ultimate Fighting crowd for awhile...

Posted by: Arrrlington | July 13, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It would be really nice to get some young quality players from South America for the MLS. Money is one of the problems and the other relates to Fred Adu. Two MLS teams and they still play him out of position. In the U-20 World Cup, he is playing in position and doing a great job.

Wake up MLS!

Posted by: International Fan | July 13, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

My kids love soccer, they don't care for Kobe Bryant anymore,I am starting to like this sport now that I understand it, I guess in a couple of year soccer will be big time, but for now, Beck is helping the star, remember this is just the begining, soccer has about 2 billion fans with a "B" billion around the world, NFL has only 40 million.

Posted by: eQualizer | July 13, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I care because I don't want to see MLS vanish the same way NASL did. Instead of building a league over time with young talent MLS is looking to make a quick marketing splash to the tune of $25 million. MLS will never be on par with the EPL or Serie A. Those leagues have clubs that are well over 100 years in the making. If MLS continues on this path they won't pass the test of time. They will fall on the scrap heap of leagues (NASL, ABA, WFL, and USFL) that folded because of poor financial stewardship.

Posted by: Glory, Glory Man United! | July 13, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

International Fan,

Freddy Adu is playing among his peers at the U-20 WC, and doing rather well. In MLS he's playing against a higher caliber opponent.

And MLS does a fine job of attracting some South American talent, but the overarching purpose of the league is to improve the US players.

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"MSL"

50 push-ups

Posted by: Kev | July 13, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

WOW! Funny as hell how people slam MLS yet take the time to read and write about it.....The world is not wrong about the real "FOOTBALL" ,just most americans are. It's understandable with the World series(baseball) and super bowl (also called world champs) jajaja, just keep living in your little bubble of a world boys and girls.........KABOOM!.

Posted by: YO | July 13, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Re: Glory, Glory Man United!

If you think 1) that Beckham's reported $250 mil is coming from MLS coffers or that 2) MLS's financial structure and management bear any resemblance to the NASL's then you clearly haven't been paying attention for the last six months... and the last 11 years.

Get a clue.

Posted by: Viv | July 13, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

That column is "some highlights"? The ability of bloggers to keep writing down the screen for feet is a curse . . . now Goff, there's a guy who knows how to keep it concise.

Posted by: gringo | July 13, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for Chelsea to make the Galaxy look like a glorified MSI (or Stoddard depending on your zip code).

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | July 13, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Another overpaid & under educated athlete!!!

Posted by: crabfat | July 13, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@ Unsilent re: chelsea

just like they did last summer against dc united, right?

Posted by: littles | July 13, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

littles... you're not going to get very far in an argument by favorably comparing LA to DC United. FOR SHAME.

Posted by: d, dc | July 13, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'll be the judge in how far I am getting in my argument ...

Posted by: littles | July 13, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

in a public forum?

Posted by: d, dc | July 13, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

or like they did against MLS Allstars 0-1?

Glory ManU, EPL teams have been coming every summer for the past few years. They train in the US for a couple months to get fit and play a couple of matches to try and win fans.
They dont have a good record though.

Please dont wake up one morning, read headlines about Becks and then make outlandish statements about MLS without doing any research.

American players today are very different than in the NASL days. There are a number of talented young south and central americans in the league. MLS is not on the hook for $250M for Beckham. There is not some imminent spending spree about to hit the league (1 dp per team). Freddy had a chance to play central mid and couldnt do it (so far).

Posted by: srfinger | July 13, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

dude, relax, I'm trying to have a good time with someone and you've gone and ruined it ... thanks a lot ... great work ...

Posted by: littles | July 13, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Dan met Posh! Geez, you hang with some serious people.

Posted by: AUinMD | July 13, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess if you figure he hit the top of his career at 29 or 30, then he may be on the "downside", but so many US reporters -- who are apparently paid by football and basketball teams -- keep saying that as if the guy is nearly dead. Give me a break, he just led Real Madrid (i imagine most of those folks don't understand why it's called real, as opposed to fake, Madrid, or know where Madrid is...) to the championship and the owner essentially begged him in public to opt out of his contract.

The guy is going to be a great addition to any team. He's going to be a strong player at least until the next WC, and if he can keep it together who knows if he'll be getting England call ups.

And, frankly, I think he's worth the price of admission, which I cant say about many professional athletes any more.

I wonder when the fools are going to stop writing about what a waste of time soccer is and start enjoying the show...

Posted by: Hacksaw | July 13, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I wish I was there.

Posted by: jj | July 13, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I am stating to hate Beck, My 3 kids threated me to buy MLS season tickets or else.

Posted by: eQualizer | July 13, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Kim,

Are the leagues in Europe only for people from Europe? Look at the number of Latinos on the various teams. The MLS seems to think that we can have world class football without world class players.Having more foreign born players on our teams would be an asset to the sport here.

Posted by: International Fan | July 13, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Raising the overall level of play, sure.

But check some leagues and rules, and you'll see that you can't play professionally in England without an EU passport (ahem, Europe only) or a special work permit. Many leagues have quotas on how many imported players can be on a roster.

And there's questions in England about how many non-Brits play on EPL teams, why? Because it hurts the quality of the 4 Brit (mainly England) teams.

But the rules are fairly similar to MLS's limit of 4 senior international players and 3 youth international players. And no one says that MLS is 'World Class', a very good league, but not among the elite (EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Prima Liga).

Sprinkle in some good foreign players like Jamie Moreno, Christian Gomez, Juan Pablo Angel and David Beckham. And the American (and Canadian) players will learn.

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

OK Dan,

I'm waiting for either David's or Posh's parents to chime in here.

Posted by: Kim | July 13, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

bored again at work, maybe this can become my shtick or somethin...

david beckham to the rectum!
ouch, er, rescue, yes you, heard me rightly
posh may be scary, but hey sport, she could serve me nightly
beckham, baby! rectum? maybe- damn near killed 'em!
no game, no practice, yet the seats he filled 'em
thrilled em, approachin' the hill w/ a shrill lil' voice
dan the man in the press hat, the muthaf@$#in' peoples' choice
overhears the words, oversees the bog
overstands sports news before it drops like a log

ok i'm done. proceed w/ the proceedin's this evenin'!!

Posted by: pack4life | July 13, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Slightly jealous you got to talk to Posh Spice.


Not gonna lie

Posted by: HFIC | July 13, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

How big of a dork was Gene Wojciechowski?

Posted by: Eric | July 13, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

"Why was the mayor booed?"

He did not hide his glee about luring Chivas USA to Los Angeles. He attended Galaxy v Chivas USA games wearing a Chivas jersey. This is the first time he's ever worn a Galaxy jersey...oh, by the way, his wife divorced him and he admitted to having an affair with a young Spanish language talking head a couple of days ago. Galaxy supporters angst for Chivas my exceed their passion for Beckham. It certainly overcomes their love for any politician.

Posted by: Catamount | July 13, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"well, he's handsome," Donovan joked about Beckham. "He walked into the locker room, and I was like, damn."


OK, now he's just inviting it!

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | July 13, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The Bog beats ESPN!!!
The Bog got suite 2, Wojciechowski from Espn got suite 3.
He also writes " "We've got to look good for the first game," she says to me and a Washington Post reporter."


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=2936205

Posted by: Rocko | July 13, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Front page of today's sports section for Mr Weinberg? Congrats!

Posted by: Jeremy Eritrea | July 14, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"Umm, your inferiority complex is hanging out"

ROFLMAO, not even YOU are inferior to
the MSL....

Posted by: caphcky | July 14, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"If you think 1) that Beckham's reported $250 mil is coming from MLS coffers or that 2) MLS's financial structure and management bear any resemblance to the NASL's then you clearly haven't been paying attention for the last six months... and the last 11 years.

Get a clue."

For those of you who don't know (and I just learned this recently), Beckham's actual annual salary ($5 million and change) won't be much more than what he was making in Spain. The difference is: In Spain, his team took HALF of all his endorsement earnings. In LA, he'll receive all of that, which is where the $250 million figure comes from.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 16, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Soccer, isn't that a kids sport?

Posted by: CreditZard | July 16, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Who is David Beckham?

Posted by: Freddy Adu | July 16, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

83 Comments!

Steinz, did you highjack Redskins Insider?

I finally saw the Caron Butler pitch. I love the guy on the bball court, but dude throws like a lady.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | July 16, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I love the concerted effort that caphcky is putting into calling the league "MSL" If you cared so little about MLS surpassing the NHL in America, you wouldn't comment at all. However, you, and the maybe half-dozen hockey fans left in this country are scared to death that MLS will become #4 (NFL,MLB,NBA being 1,2,3) in the near future.
How many Stanley Cups do the caps have in their 30+ years of existence? United is the only pro team in the DC Area that's won anything of consequence in the last 15 years. Enjoy sitting on your hands in the phone-booth.

Posted by: AlecW81 | July 16, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"I love the concerted effort that caphcky is putting into calling the league "MSL" If you cared so little about MLS surpassing the NHL in America, you wouldn't comment at all. However, you, and the maybe half-dozen hockey fans left in this country are scared to death that MLS will become #4 (NFL,MLB,NBA being 1,2,3) in the near future.
How many Stanley Cups do the caps have in their 30+ years of existence? United is the only pro team in the DC Area that's won anything of consequence in the last 15 years. Enjoy sitting on your hands in the phone-booth."

Yes, yes the United have won titles that can't be taken away. What I enjoyed more than the HYSTERIA of another DC championship were the 50 people who showed up for the parade.....ROFLMAO!

United/MSL FEVER.....Catch It!

I'm not worried about the MSL or the NHL, or another overpaid stooge on the left coast.

Posted by: caphcky | July 20, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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