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Feb 28th 2009

“A few more ambassadors like this, and MLS is done for”

beckham3

Breach of contract.

Beckham was imported because of what he could do for the league. He was to be an ambassador. He said so himself, even as fans around the world quizzically and repeatedly asked, “Why MLS?”

“It’s also about being an ambassador for the game here and, hopefully, it is going to encourage other players to come to the States and be part of this because soccer in America can become much bigger,” Beckham said.

So can we all agree that Beckham can still hit a sweet ball, but that his “ambassador” skills can use some sprucing up?

For now Beckham has managed a truly remarkable feat. He has managed to emasculate MLS, to reduce it, to make it look something less than “Major” and yet still remain on board. He was bound to expose the league’s flaws and foibles by stretching the loan to Milan into a permanent assignment. But now he’s done the same without leaving.
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Everyone surely remembers that gala news conference back in July of 2007 when Beckham and MLS officially embraced. Garber remarked about how he didn’t want anyone to think “that Beckham will save soccer in America. It doesn’t need saving.”

Right-o, commish. But it doesn’t need to be kicked around, either, or kicked to the curb like last year’s love.

A few more ambassadors like this, and MLS is done for. [Source: Steve Davis (ESPN), Beckham and MLS no longer an ideal match, 2/14/09]

Not to mention the fact that Becks couldn’t even manage to get his team into the playoffs at any point during his short MLS career.

UPDATE. This dude did not mince words:

Beckham talked a grand game about being an ambassador, but never did any of the hard work of diplomacy. It became evident early on that he was uncomfortable in the spotlight of the American press and lacked the personality and gregariousness needed to flourish.

This might not have mattered so much had he not repeatedly demonstrated an appalling lack of judgment. He was tone-deaf to the needs of MLS fans — who after all were paying his freight — and squandered opportunity after opportunity to set matters right.
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He also engineered this loan to AC Milan behind his club’s back. And we all know that he mouthed off about the league and this country to the BBC, saying we were “ten years away” from whatever. That was a transparent, seedy attempt to use the media as a lever to get him out of his contract.

Now, maybe the man has the worst advisors in the world. Or maybe he is just plain dumb. Maybe he’s both. But these actions reflect ill upon a man who claimed, at his unveiling, that he “had no regrets about leaving Europe,” a man who said that his aim was to unlock the “potential of the sport here.” Sure, David.

It’s hard not to feel that the league and the American sport is better off without him. Frankly, I have to wonder why he’s even bothering to return.

If it feels like a sham to you, that’s because it is. This is a cynical, last-ditch attempt to cash in. The only good thing about it is that the Galaxy are the ones doing the cashing.

For Beckham has already turned his back on the club, MLS and its fans.

[Source: Jamie Trecker, FOX Sports, Beckham’s crafty new loan deal exposes the truth, 3/4/2009]

5 Responses to ““A few more ambassadors like this, and MLS is done for””

  1. bnice

    i dont think its fair to criticize Beckham here. He came to the MLS, in part, because he thought that his prime had passed. turns out, he can still play at the highest level, and playing for milan may enable to play for england in 2010. i dont blame him for wanting to leave.

    can you blame becks for the galaxy’s woes? yes, but only because his salary (along with donovan’s) bankrupted the rest of the team. LA has also fired their coach, president, etc. over the last year. there were multiple problems at the club.

    maybe Raul and Shevchenko will have more success.

  2. travis

    Perhaps. But my real question is: Can I return my Galaxy Beckham ’23’ jersey to goldenballs himself for a full refund?

  3. doug

    No, the real question is: Will Carlos Tevez come to the MLS since Manchester won’t be renewing his contract? 😛

  4. doug

    On a more serious note re: MLS. I’ve wondered if its success won’t be the opposite of the NBA. Could MLS’ future growth be initially spurred by its international appeal?

    In other words, could the MLS grow more popular internationally before its domestic audience gains significant interest?

    I don’t know…just thinking out loud.

  5. Beckham is one of the world’s football icon and have touched millions of fans around the world. He was one of the BIG names in the league. Though Beckham was brought to the states to play in one of the premier football clubs, it doesn’t meant that he can’t play. He is still in top shape and can even play for the world cup.