FanDuel - WFBC

January 10, 2007

David Beckham's contract will not be renewed by Real Madrid: Does this open the door for Becks to come to MLS? What impact will he make if he arrives stateside?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to soccer at 10:22 AM - 29 comments

Of course Beckham is going to come to the United States and play in the MLS - just not yet. There are too many English Premiership teams that could gain a huge boost in attendance by showing Beckham the money for two years, possibly three. It would be just my luck, though to have Mr Posh Spice make the jump across the pond the season AFTER my beloved Earthquakes defected to Texas to become the Houston Whatevertheirnameisnow. I guess I could drive to LA for the weekend, although I want to spend the least amount of time in that cesspool as possible in my lifetime. As a wise man once said, The only way to fix it is to flush it all away." Oh well. It'll be worth it to see the man play live once in my life. I even have the white Beckham Real Madrid jersey in the closet - right next to the blue long-sleeve Renaldo jersey and the Zidane jersey. That's three Real Madrid jerseys - not bad for a jingoistic American, huh? ;-) One final note, ESPN's soccernet page is already running the counter-story that says the offer to Becks has NOT been pulled by Real Madrid. Spin central is in effect for the Spaniards a mere hour or two after word got out. Life is good for David Beckham.

posted by Cameron Frye at 11:30 AM on January 10

...defected to Texas to become the Houston Whatevertheirnameisnow. You can call them Champions for short. And you have a Beckham jersey? And you actually admit it? Heh.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:38 AM on January 10

If the MLS is smart, they'll get Beckham to New York or Los Angeles so the league takes advantage of his celebrity in the biggest media markets. They've got better stadiums and better financial prospects, but they need more stars.

posted by rcade at 11:38 AM on January 10

Who is Renaldo and why do you have his jersey? ;) Beckham is a one-dimsensional perfume ad. But I must admit he has not been primadonna on the pitch as I suspected he would be when he came over to Madrid. Especially compared with the rest of the "Galacticos". I wish him the best.

posted by sic at 11:42 AM on January 10

Who is Renaldo and why do you have his jersey? ;) D@mnit. Excuse me, as I will now go and rip a fingernail out of my left hand as penance for my blatant error. I hope Ronaldo accepts my apology. My next question is this: When Beckham leaves, should I replace his jersey with Van Nistelrooy or Robinho?

posted by Cameron Frye at 11:51 AM on January 10

If the MLS is smart, they'll get Beckham to New York or Los Angeles i've seen that LA is a front runner if he comes to MLS. on a side note, captain america may be coming back home.

posted by goddam at 12:02 PM on January 10

goddam, what do you think about the Red Bulls possibly using one of the two designated player slots for Reyna?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:31 PM on January 10

i'm kind of torn i guess. i would love to have reyna back home in jersey. but then there's that constant, looming threat of injury (maybe breathing in the swamp gas around here will help him stay fit). i'd prefer if they could find a way not to use a designated player spot, but if they have to i'm ok with it. as long as they don't use the other slot for Waterreus. hopefully there's enough allocation money to bring in reyna, cause i don't think he'll take that much of a home team discount.

posted by goddam at 01:07 PM on January 10

just to clarify, i don't have a problem with waterreus coming here (in fact, it looks like it's a done deal.) i just think it would be stupid to use up 2 slots for him and reyna. and from what i've read, waterreus is a discovery signing.

posted by goddam at 01:29 PM on January 10

You'll have to excuse me for not being at all familiar with the style of play in the MLS. It's football which we simply don't get a chance to watch in the UK. Or at least, I've never seen a game advertised. I'm curious: which league would you compare it to? Does it most resemble the blood and guts, pacy passion of the English, the languid, cultured style of Spain, the defensive, tactical style of the Italian league, or the expansive, skilled style of South American football? There are others, but those seem to encapsulate the main trends in the game. I think Beckham these days would be most suited to Spanish or perhaps Italian football. He lacks the pace to beat a man, or the tricks on the ball to survive long in England or Brazil. His best asset is his placement of a long pass or cross, either from space or a dead ball situation. This is why he's been (for me) a success for Real Madrid since losing much of the pace that served him so well at Manchester United. I think if you look at the stats for goal creators in Spain, in the seasons when he has played enouhg games he has been one of their most prolific players in that department. It goes without saying that he's been a huge financial success, paying back his transfer fee in shirt sales and image rights within the first calendar month of arriving. For him to be a footballing success somewhere though (and for him to continue to be a financial asset he will have to pay a filip towards prowess on the field), it depends on the league he plays in and the role he's given. I honestly don't see him being worthwhile any more for an English team. If the MLS allows a player time on the ball for a few touches, and the space to pinpoint a cross, then he could make a big difference out wide, collecting the ball and ranging it in, or as a pivot-style player, a la Pirlo for Milan. We've seen a number of older players used to the Italian or Spanish game fail in the UK though, through needing the ball to feet and wanting more than one touch on it. The best examples of high profile players failing in the English league in the last ten years being Veron and Morientes, with Shevchenko looking likely to go the same way. Like Morientes, I believe firmly that Shevchenko would flourish again through going back to the league where he shaped his game, but is perhaps too old to adapt to a new league at an age where experience counts more than physical fitness. Beckham of course has experience of the English league, but his lack of pace would be his biggest weakness here and I think he would end up playing a peripheral role, as he would in Germany where the Bundesliga is perhaps closest to the English style. If he's to succeed in the MLS on the field, it may only happen for him if the pace is similar to Italy or Spain or if the quality of defending is similar to Holland, France or Portugal. South American teams likely couldn''t afford him and in any case I'm not convinced he's tricky enough on the ball.

posted by walrus at 02:01 PM on January 10

if you look at the stats for goal creators in Spain Two questions: 1. Is goal creation the same as an assist? 2. Where would one find those stats? Thanks for the great comment.

posted by yerfatma at 02:16 PM on January 10

Oooo - Can't wait for the new season, now that my town has a team. Season ticket packages start at $200. Affordable Pro-Sports in Toronto and no snow? Have I GONE MAD?!?!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:25 PM on January 10

walrus, I'm curious about why Morientes didn't get much playing time at Liverpool, despite Benitez as the coach. What happened there? I couldn't belive that he wasn't a more effective option than Crouch. I disagree that he needs the ball at his feet much, I don't think he's ever been that kind of player - he's more of a finisher than a flourisher. Anyway, he's playing well at Valencia and I'm happy for Moro, he's always struck me as a good guy. As far as Veron is concerned, has he had success anywhere outside of Argentina, like 10 years ago?

posted by sic at 03:39 PM on January 10

Cameron, definitely get Robinho's shirt, Van Nistelrooy is a dick.

posted by sic at 03:41 PM on January 10

I'm curious: which league would you compare it to? Does it most resemble the blood and guts, pacy passion of the English, the languid, cultured style of Spain, the defensive, tactical style of the Italian league, or the expansive, skilled style of South American football? There are others, but those seem to encapsulate the main trends in the game. I don't think it resembles any of the above. It is more of a hodge-podge based on the skills of the players a particular team has. In general, the talent level is one to two rungs below any of the European leagues, so that makes a big difference. (Talent-wise, I have a hunch it fits somewhere between the Championship and League One -- but I don't really have anything to back it up.) I know this isn't helpful for you, but I would say it most closely resembles the Mexican league, just with less diving. As far as Veron is concerned, has he had success anywhere outside of Argentina, like 10 years ago? It depends on how you view success. Veron never scored a lot of goals, even when he was at Estudiantes the first time around and then Boca Juniors (before heading to Italy). I recall him as being an above-average play-maker and central midfield presence with Parma and Sven's sides at Sampdoria and Lazio.

posted by holden at 04:15 PM on January 10

The goal creation stats for La Liga, AFAIK, include scoring, assists, and making the last pass before an assist. It's a measure which I haven't heard of being commonly used in other leagues, but a good one for looking at who is involved in the final move. I'm not sure where you would find them online, I'm told they're commonly used in the Spanish football press in publications such as Marca or AS, and the info about Beckham's being high was told to me by a couple of Spanish Liverpool fans I know online. Morientes, in my opinion, had his fair share of play for Liverpool, making 61 appearances in 18 months but disappointingly scoring only 12 goals. By the time he came to us he had reprised his role at Monaco as a second striker, and commonly played this role for Liverpool, playing most often behind Crouch to link the midfield and attack. As such we might have expected less goals than he scored for Real Madrid, and he was by no means bad, featuring as high a games won percentage as any other player in the squad during that time. He was still a disappointment in many ways though, having been bought as a proven goalscorer and an intelligent player. He never really got used to the pace of the league or the bite of defenders, and seemed always to want the ball to feet rather than a yard or two in front. This is an essential difference between the service forwards get in England as opposed to Spain. He also said recently that he could not get used to having so little time on the ball as in England you get one touch before the defenders "eat your legs". Veron had an excellent reputation as a footballer in Italy as an advanced playmaker, prompting Ferguson to pay somewhere in the region of 30M for him and Chelsea to part with half that two years later under Ranieri, even though he had been perceived as a failure in the league.

posted by walrus at 04:40 PM on January 10

Cameron, definitely get Robinho's shirt, Van Nistelrooy is a dick. So, sic. Next time will you do me a favor? Try not to hold anything back in your thoughts. It seems to me like you really want to say something about Van Nistelrooy and are just not coming out and saying it. lmao. Robinho it is.

posted by Cameron Frye at 06:00 PM on January 10

Cameron- I met Van Nistlerooy and played indoor with him informally when he was visiting in the US 3 years ago. He is not a dick and has some very sick skills. He is down to earth, very committed to making the game popular worldwide and is a MUCH better goal scorer than Robinho. He was on vacation here, yet found the time to spend with some youth teams while working out here. He gave them very positive lessons and was very gracious. I will be a fan of his for life.

posted by urall cloolis at 09:30 PM on January 10

Latest news is that Beckham has told Madrid to play him or he will leave. Guess he is trying to make is look like leaving Madrid in on his terms not the Club's. Going to play in LA would be a huge boost for the MLS. Soccer, while getting more popular in the US, needs to have a major draw in order to compete with the big 4 for Air Time and for a larger Fan Base. And Cameron, forget about collecting Real Madrid Jersey's. Start collecting Chelsea Jerseys, much cooler look and an exciting winning team!!!! GO BLUES................................

posted by jadzia1970 at 04:50 AM on January 11

Chelsea are an exciting winning team? I've heard it all now.

posted by squealy at 05:28 AM on January 11

Sure they are :-) Little hiccup last night but no problem. Jose gives the Media plenty to concentrate on before, during and after the game. Love it!

posted by jadzia1970 at 05:36 AM on January 11

Why not Wycombe ?

posted by yerfatma at 06:16 AM on January 11

Can I hear the sound of brittle confidence?

posted by walrus at 07:34 AM on January 11

Hello, Los Angeles Galaxy!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:51 AM on January 11

In general, I think this is great news for American soccer. Having watched him play in a couple Real Madrid games this season, he definitely has a lot left in the tank. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do. Now only if we can get Zizou in NY. an exciting winning team!!!! I have actually watched Chelsea nearly a dozen times this years, thanks to FSC's big club bias. I can say that they have really been exciting only when they have fallen behind on the scoreboard (e.g. vs. ManU). They mostly are just plodding and dull. Defensive-minded football with the occasional cross into the box. Ugh. Arsenal are wildly inconsistent, but at least they're almost always pleasant to watch. I'll take them any day. As far as Jose is concerned, Didier Drogba's stellar season nothwithstanding, I have never seen a coach do so little with so much talent.

posted by psmealey at 09:54 AM on January 11

I'm curious: which league would you compare it to? Does it most resemble the blood and guts, pacy passion of the English, the languid, cultured style of Spain, the defensive, tactical style of the Italian league, or the expansive, skilled style of South American football? walrus, i think this is an important question and thought I would come in with my two cents... It's difficult to describe the play in MLS. Many of the games are played in 100 degree heat, so obviously that will make some games less than pleasing on the eyes. Most of the players are about 100% effort and most lack the technical skills to dazzle, so it's a bit of short, meaningless passes (hence the comparison to the Mexican leagues above) and then a whack downfield when the players run out of steam. You'll see some great goals, terrific defending and shot-stopping. There are several teams that play on the plastic turf and that certainly effects the quality of the games. Clubs from Europe are now regularly coming to the States for summer training but it's difficult to gauge the quality vs. MLS teams in those games. In 2005, MLS All-Stars beat Fulham 4-1, 2006 they beat Chelsea 1-0 and also in '06 DC United beat Celtic 4-0. Of course all these results are meaningless other than to show MLS can hold there own on occassion. I watch quite a bit of the SPL and I would say the technical quality of the players and physical nature of the leagues are similar, though MLS players seem much fitter. Anyway...that's about both of my cents...

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:32 PM on January 11

Well put Texan.

posted by holden at 12:52 PM on January 11

Cameron- I met Van Nistlerooy and played indoor with him informally when he was visiting in the US 3 years ago. He is not a dick and has some very sick skills. He is down to earth, very committed to making the game popular worldwide and is a MUCH better goal scorer than Robinho. He was on vacation here, yet found the time to spend with some youth teams while working out here. He gave them very positive lessons and was very gracious. I will be a fan of his for life. Comment icon posted by urall cloolis at 9:30 PM CST on January 10 I'm actually glad to hear this, my comment was based on his on-pitch behavior in the matches I saw him play with Man U (admittedly not many). I distinctly remember him going for a defender's knees with his studs in a champion's league match against a Spanish team. He did it in a way that made it seem habitual. But I could be wrong. He definitely has sick skills, but so does Robinho. Cheers.

posted by sic at 02:16 PM on January 11

the defensive, tactical style of the Italian league I think you might be confusing the catenaccio of the national team with the style of play in Serie A. The play in the Italian league is much more free flowing and creative than almost anything you'll see from the Azzurri. This is why watching the national team can be so frustrating: you know they can do it, they just don't. About the only thing the two have in common is the preponderance of diving wankers. ;-)

posted by psmealey at 10:02 AM on January 12

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