Time to Revisit the Beckham Experiment

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Is it time for the Beckham Experiment Part II? Calling Grant Wahl….

I’d say so.

I’ve always been a fan of Beckham, not because of his sleeve tattoos, but because he can flat out play the game like few others. He’s won titles at Manchester United, Real Madrid and nearly with AC Milan. He will go down in soccer history as the best crosser of the ball to ever play.

And Beckham’s addition to the MLS, which seemed like a dream and a bust to certain people at certain points in time, has brought the MLS to new heights as a league. It all seemed so absurd, as the price tag was incredible to bring Beckham over, especially when compared to the league average salary. ($250 million in salary and endorsement deals)

When people look back though, at the MLS, they’ll see the signing of David Beckham as what brought the league to a new level. Beckham has been on a tear of late, bending in his usual array of free kicks but also slipping through that final killer pass to Keane and Donovan from the central midfield spot.

Beckham NOT appearing in the Olympics has been a boon to the LA Galaxy. He’s playing some of his best soccer/football since he joined the MLS.

The truth is, Beckham’s impact on the MLS has been gigantic. Huge. Epic. Not just in jersey sales and attendance, but on all the players around him. On the pitch, he’s raised the level for not only his teammates but for opposing teams. They play at a higher level when they play against him.

For his young teammates, I’m sure it’s a joy to practice with him day in and day out.

And it’s his style of play, keep the ball, laser cross field passes, whip in free kicks, get stuck in, play one and two touch, that makes him so enjoyable to watch. You could probably say too that Thierry Henry and other stars wouldn’t have come over to the MLS if Beckham hadn’t paved the way.

And if Donovan doesn’t miss that penalty kick against Real Salt Lake in the championship in Seattle, Beckham might have two MLS championship trophies, not one.

Sure, Beckham has made his mistakes now and again, doesn’t chase back or loses the ball at a key position on the field, but he’s come into his own the past few years and has the players around him who know how to play Beckham’s way.

Can you really blame him for going out on loan to AC Milan and wanting to play in the World Cup for England? No.

Would you want a player who doesn’t get angry or upset when he loses a game? Sure, he doesn’t need to half volley the ball at an opposing player or referee, but would you want a passive and apathetic Beckham? No.

It’s Beckham’s intensity, passion and love for the game that’s made him a unique and game changing signing. Yes, it helps that he’s a globally known and beloved icon with tattoos and various haircuts and a wife named Posh, but it’s his play, his touch, and skills on the ball that make this experiment work.

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