Ramblings of a Soccer Junky
Friday, October 13, 2006
  Trying to Spice things up.
Am I the only one who isn't convinced that adding Beckham to MLS (either in LA or New Jersey) is a good thing? I'm sorry, but I've always said that Spice Boy is a one trick pony (free kicks) and isn't as great a player as everyone seems to think. Yeah, he's only just finished his England career but was (is) the England team really as good as the English would like to think? So, he'll sell a few tickets and bump ESPN and FSC's ratings a bit. But for how long? I remember when Luis Hernandez arrived at the Rose Bowl. The Spanish speaking part of town turned out in massive numbers for his debut. Then the novelty wore off and they went back to watching Chivas and America on TV. Should Becks and family try to 'make it in America' I've a feeling it'll be a similar story. After all, Becks is no Pele. He's just a good player who's now fast approaching his sell-by date.

Then again, after the recent San Diego U-T article about the true attendances in MLS I guess something does need to be done to get some 'paying' customers. I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I'd much rather see three young guys hungry to succeed in the sport signed than another player taking an early retirement. After all, does LA need another player who wants a piece of the easy life? They already have Donovan. And it's not like NY haven't had their share of big names running out on the plastic turf in the Meadowlands...none of them really boosted attendance...why should it be different with Beckham?

I've said it for 11 years and I'm sure I'll be saying if for a lot longer, put the 11 best players each team can afford on the pitch regardless of where they are from or who may buy tickets to see them once or twice and fans will start to show. Besides Chivas, no MLS team has really marketed the team...all you hear about is seeing Landon vs Freddy or some two other individuals matched up against each other. That hardly sells long-term loyalty to a team. If fine for a quick return, but will those ticket buyers be forking over their cash in five or ten years?

I haven't posted in a while but it would be wrong of my not to mention the passing of "Mooch". The sport in this country just lost another great asset.

So, rumor has it that AEG have finally found a buyer for DC United. Is it me or is it just a coincidence that so many new owners are also involved with owning other sports teams? Perhaps an MLS team is starting to look like a decent investment. What ever happened to the naysayers back in '96 who said the league wouldn't last? I guess they didn't count on the large bank accounts of Anchutz, Hunt and Kraft. Their certainly getting that investment back now.

Speaking of new investors, I'm a little bummed that Toronto Lynx are dropping to PDL next season not that they'll be competing against an MLS team for many of the same fans. I'm waiting for an established USL side to take on an MLS team. Part of me wants to believe that fans will remain loyal to the team they've followed longer. But it's not my money on the line if I'm wrong so who am I to ask someone else to take the chance? ;)

Ok, I've got to say it, yes, LA will not be in the playoffs this season for the first time in their history. Part of me is bummed but if I'm being honest, I knew it had to happen sooner or later. Bottom line is, Sampson screwed things up so bad at the HDC that there was just too much for Yallop to do. I don't blame Yallop for the missed post season. Heck, I commend him for turning things around like he did. He got the team to the Open Cup Final and he had the team in with a shot at the playoffs up until last weekend. If Sampson were still at the helm, LA would have been out of contention a month ago.

I guess getting a new stadium is an opportunity for teams to rebrand themselves--yeah, Chicago didn't and NY has already done it but you know what I mean. I'm just not sure about the new Colorado stuff. Are they Villa, West Ham or another Denver based team owned by Kroenke? Personally, I think they should have kept the Green from a couple of years ago. It was unique and stood out. But I'm sure they had some focus group trying to give the team a "Euro" look...or something like that. Here's an idea, how about building some tradition...oh yeah, sorry, Colorado has now tradition. ;)

Did Eddie Johnson take lessons from Clint Mathis on how to quickly kill your career?

Does anyone else find the recent performances by England amusing?

Then again, at least they are playing. I hope there's someone at the helm of the US soon. We should have had at least one international even if it was using only European based players.

So, MLS teams can sell advertisement space on their jerseys next season. Honestly, I'm surprised it hasn't already happened. It's a good source of income and if the Beckham rule doesn't arrive, they'll need the money. Actually, it's not as if there isn't a good deal of money suddenly floating around. I keep reading than teams with their own stadiums are now making a profit. The new TV deals sure don't hurt things either. Yeah, some of the new income should be spent setting up these new Academys...but c'mon, let's improve the talent across the board. It's the only way to improve the quality of play. Of course, no not talking about signing one or two aging foreign players. Why can't the league now go after American players who've played in Europe for a while...have gained from the experience but are still at a point in their career where they haven't peaked yet. I'm sure there's more than a couple of guys who would be willing to return home if the money was about the same.

Well, that's enough of a ramble for today.
 
Comments:
Becks is a tad bit overrated, don't you think?

Bummer deal about LA not making the playoffs.

~ An
 
Don't get me wrong. Becks is a good player, but he's not going to be the kick start in MLS that Pele was for the NASL. Bottom line, he won't improve the overall play of any team let alone the league...let alone the league. The money would be better spent finding younger talent more hungry for success.
 
becks is probably the only big star who actually is worth the money due to the media attention he'd brign
 
Will he bring media attention to the league and his team? Sure.

Is he worth the money they are talking about? Hell no.

Will he end up in MLS one day? Absolutly.

Is he the great talent that Pele was? Not even close.

Becks has always been a one dimentional player who is more about the hype than he is about talent. I've never rated him as a top player. He's had a good supporting role in Manchester and some of the time in Madrid. His crowning International moment was that free kick against Greece. What else did he do for the 3 lions?

Like I said, I'd rather see that kinda money spent on bringing some talented kids in from Central or South America who are hungry to succeed than him. But I guess as long as he isn't with LA, I shouldn't complain. ;)
 
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An American who fell in love with soccer while living in Europe.

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