After paying a record $38 million – per year – plus endorsements and other crap that adds up to $250 million, David Beckham has been sitting out games due to injury. This caused massive disappointment all over the country as stadiums were sold out to watch him play, and then he didn’t. This happened here in my home town of Frisco, TX where we have literally the nicest Major League Soccer stadium in the country.
But finally Beckham stepped up to play in a Superliga match on August 14 against D.C. United and scored his first goal in the MLS. It was a very nice free kick, I’ll give him that. But in my opinion bringing Beckham over here was still a horrible move.
Here is Beckham’s first goal in the US:
To put it all in perspective, here is a 10 minute compilation of notable Beckham goals:
Now then, getting back to the problem at hand.
I’ve been to watch several MLS games here at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, and I must say that the level of play is just barely a notch above watching college games. The main reason is that these players don’t make hardly any money. I’m guessing $40-50k on average. So, all the best American players leave the country to go get the big bucks elsewhere, and we can’t attract real overseas talent to the US.
Since the level of play isn’t exactly breathtaking you don’t get huge numbers of fans turning out for the games. And of course, this is exactly why the Galaxy wanted to try to bring in a superstar. But let’s examine this decision a little more closely.
- Beckham is in a whole different league than virtually all of these other players. It’s like having an adult play with kids. That isn’t really fun to watch if you ask me.
- What if instead of giving one guy $38 Million, you hire 19 guys for $2 Million each! They could have really spread out the PR a lot further, and they could have built a truly dominant team – or better yet spread them out across the entire league so everyone gets some talent.
- One superstar on one team does nothing to elevate the level of play in America. 19 players for the same amount of money would have brought us closer to European levels of play and allow our talented players to improve their game with the experience of the superstars.
- Once you start throwing this much money at a person, they lose the fire in their belly.
Generally speaking, I’m not very enthusiastic about Beckham’s entry into the US soccer market. Let’s not forget that the MLS is not the first American soccer league.
For nearly 20 years we had the North American Soccer League (NASL) which struggled with introducing soccer to the US market because it was so new at the time, and eventually went bankrupt because they spread talent too thinly and overspent on foreign players.
Gee, sound familiar?