Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

TBL: Beckham Considers Staying in Milan, MLS Should Let Him

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Here is my latest post for The Big Lead.  The title explains fairly, what the article is about.

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Filed under: Football, MLS, Serie A, Soccer, , , ,

Thursday Headlines: Fergie Gets Frisky at Man U Semi-Final Celebration

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Sir Alex Ferguson acts like he’s been there before after the Carling Cup Semi-Final Win. (Off the Post)

Maurice Edu blames US Soccer for placing too much pressure on Freddy Adu. (Tribal Footall)

Arsenal will make the Emirates Stadium much more technology-savvy. (Arsenal Mania)

Emerson thinks Kaka should move to Real Madrid (The Beautiful Game)

MLS is not pleased with Sports Business Journal over wording. (LA Times)

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , , , , , , , , ,

Beckham Will Be a Bachelor In Italy

david-beckhamDavid Beckham is now flying solo, for his stay in Italy.

“Everyone knows how much I love my wife and children,” Beckham told the Times.  “My children will remain in Los Angeles due to school and Victoria will remain with them.  When she comes to Milan she will remain with me for a couple of days.”

For Beckham the footballer, this probably quashes notions of Beckham permanently relocating.

For Beckham the international celebrity, the tabloids quiver in anticipation.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Serie A, Soccer, , ,

Beckham Isn’t a Farce. Only People Who Pontificate About Him.

david-beckham-airport09David Beckham, to lukewarm fanfare, moved to A.C. Milan on loan for two months, upsetting many in the American Soccer Community.  The Beckham experiment has had its problems, but, surely, it’s not worthy of shortsighted vitriol like this.

Mr. Gardner terms Beckham a “farce” and “on every count.”  He deems this so obvious “there’s no need to labor all those points.”  Nevertheless, he manages to do so for nearly 1,000 words.

First, we have the topic of Beckham’s loan to AC Milan.  His justification for the loan was clear.  He wants to play for England.  Fabio Capello would not select Beckham unless he was playing football.  He had the opportunity to go to a top-level European club during the interim.  He went.  Does this make Landon Donovan a “farce,” as well?

Beckham, like most players, enjoys representing the national team.  Offered the chance to play a useful role, he chose to do so.  There’s nothing “relentless” or “sycophantic” about it.  Selfish, maybe.  But how is it servile?  

He does miss MLS time because of it, but so does every MLS player who plays internationally.  It’s not Beckham’s fault that MLS does not follow international breaks.  It’s also not his fault that FIFA favors the country in club versus country disputes.  Beckham has flown cross-country and played immediately, despite fitness risks, on occasion, to mitigate that effect.

David Beckham has the right to play for England, if he chooses.  If called up, he should play.

Then we move to Beckham’s broader role in MLS.  His primary task was to make the league money and increase its exposure.  He has done both.

Mr. Gardner dismissively mentions “marketing and shirt-selling.” These aren’t savory aspects of the sport, but, unfortunately, professional leagues are a business and salaries aren’t paid in good will and fairy dust.

Beckham is not just selling shirts.  He’s sold about half-a-million shirts, more than any other athlete in the world, in any sport.  It’s probably safe to assume LA Galaxy wouldn’t be moving that kind of product without him.  Neither would they have the $4-5 million per year shirt sponsorship deal with Herbalife.

He’s raised attendance both home and away, allowing the Galaxy to sell out games and guaranteeing over 10,000 tickets sold on the road.

Viewership ratings haven’t been great.  However, ESPN’s ratings spike 150% when Beckham plays.  ESPN also now pays MLS for the rights to televise games, and the league just sold foreign TV rights for a ten-figure sum.  No one would pay that unless the league’s exposure, popularity and interest abroad had increased.

The Galaxy also profits from using Beckham as a wedge to play lucrative friendlies in foreign markets.  Australians and New Zealanders probably wouldn’t be jazzed about seeing a Beckham-less Galaxy.

The club made an estimated $13 million, more than his MLS salary for the first two seasons, before he had even arrived.  He’s making the league money, increasing its value and exposure.

Regarding his play on the pitch, he’s still one of eleven players.  Beckham didn’t hire Alexi Lalas to run the Galaxy.  The team had a failed coaching hire and a dearth of talent, outside Landon Donovan, supporting Beckham.  If anything, it is a testament to the league’s quality that one player, alone, can’t dominate it.

Finally, Gardner argues that Beckham is “actively damaging MLS” by not praising it enough.  The apparent evidence is that Beckham said he missed playing “at the highest level” when he was unveiled at Milan.  

What is Beckham supposed to say?  MLS is obviously not the highest level of world soccer.  Anyone who argues that it is on par in quality with the top European leagues is, to be frank, a dumbass.  He’s shaken hands, done interviews, kissed babies and done everything MLS asked him to do.  He would do more “active damage” to the league by being effusively dishonest in his praise of it.

Beckham hasn’t been happy losing at LA Galaxy.  What right-minded player, particularly one who played for the world’s two biggest clubs and won seven domestic titles and the Champions League, would be happy?  He hasn’t demanded a transfer.  He hasn’t whined to the media.  He’s been a good soldier.  He stated publicly he will return for the start of the MLS season.  What more can be asked of him?

David Beckham’s move to America has not been what it was hyped to be.  But, much of that hype was irrational and stupid.  

It’s foolish to term Beckham’s move a complete success.  But, it is equally foolish to deny the good things he has done for the league.  In order for MLS to become a stable, long-term presence and develop into a player internationally, it needs to be profitable.  There is no doubt that the increased revenue and exposure from David Beckham, has prodded MLS toward that goal.

Just because you don’t like David Beckham does not mean you can credibly call him a “farce” and impose sinister motives on him without justification.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , ,

Headlines: Messi Unleashes Some Sass

messiLeo Messi is getting a bit frisky of late. (Dirty Tackle)

Djibril Cisse sported a festive green racing stripe. (Off The Post)

New Real Madrid signing Lassana Diarra will face some ribbing for the back of his shirt. (The Spoiler)

Would you trust Joey Barton with your small child? (The Beautiful Game)

No one in the U.S. wants to watch MLS, but, apparently, some foreigners might. (American Soccer News)

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , , , ,

Ljungberg Debut Delayed for Hip Surgery

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Seattle Sounders signing Freddie Ljungberg will miss the season opener, after surgery to repair a “hip condition.”  He will be out 10 to 12 weeks.

“Freddie Ljungberg is a player that we value for the long term,” Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said.  “As Freddie increased his training regimen for the upcoming season, we wanted to make sure that he was firing on all cylinders for the next two years and beyond.”

Ljungberg’s hip problems began with Arsenal in 2005, when he contracted blood poisoning from his tattoos.  He has endured a myriad of leg injuries, serious and niggling, since, which hampered his effectiveness at elite level.

Hip surgery does not augur well for someone whose primary occupation is running.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, ,

Landon Donovan’s Munich Move Finalized

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Landon Donovan, officially, has been loaned to German club Bayern Munich until March 15, leaving open the possibility of an extension or permanent deal.

The Galaxy attacker will join the German club for a training camp in Dubai on Jan. 2.   He had a tryout in November. 

The 26-year-old previously played 7 matches in Germany for Bayer Leverkusen, during a brief 2005 stint.

Donovan will replace striker Lukas Podolski, probably departing in the January window.  Unfortunately for Donovan, Podolski’s lack of playing time engended his departure.  With players such as Toni, Klose, Ribery and Schweinsteiger starting in his favored positions, it’s hard to see Donovan, with worse pedigree than Podolski, playing consistently.

Alternatively, it’s a sign of belated ambition from Donovan.  He believes he’s the best American player.  He believes he can play with the world’s best.  He’s risking ridicule to prove it at one of the world’s biggest clubs.  His gumption is noteworthy.

Even if Donovan flames out at Bayern, the training and experience will improve his play.  The worst thing that happens is an ignominious return to the Galaxy and his Malibu beach house.  Most could live with that.

Filed under: Bundesliga, Football, MLS, Soccer, , ,

De Rosario Returns to Canada

20070606_derosario_rainwwwCanadian midfielder Dwayne De Rosario will return to his home country next season.  The Houston Dynamo traded the 30-year-old to Toronto for defender Julius James and allocation money.  De Rosario will not take a DP slot, but will likely sign for the non-DP maximum of $400,000.

De Rosario won four MLS Cups in eight MLS seasons with the Dynamo/Earthquakes, being named the MVP three times.  He is also a three-time all-star.

The move seems to be beneficial.  Toronto gets a marquee star and homegrown icon.  The Dynamo receive cap space and a strong prospect.

To the headline writer at the four-letter: What exactly are we supposed to “Blame Canada” for?  The South Park reference doesn’t fit.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , ,

Seattle Can’t Yet Get Sigi With It, Schmid Move Delayed

sigi_schmid_crewMLS Champions Columbus Crew filed tampering charges with the league, preventing coach Sigi Schmid from leaving to coach the Seattle Sounders.

In his Columbus contract, Schmid had a non-compete clause.  The Crew believe Schmid violated the clause by contacting Seattle before his contract expired.  The club is demanding compensation from Seattle.

MLS will arbitrate the matter.

UPDATE: MLS found “no evidence” of tampering by Seattle, though Seattle agreed to provide Columbus cash an allocation money.  Schmid will be Sounders coach next season.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , ,

Ortega and Palermo to MLS?

Two more Argentines may be trekking to the United States, according to MLS Rumors.

Longtime River Plate attacking midfielder Ariel “The Little Donkey” Ortega reportedly has been negotiating with FC Dallas.  The 34-year-old scored 19 goals in 97 appearances for Argentina, appearing in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.  In his pomp, Ortega was considered one of the world’s elite dribblers.  He also played in Europe for Valencia, Sampdoria, Parma and Fenerbahçe.

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Striker Martin Palermo has been linked with the Houston Dynamo.  Palermo, 35, excited the soccer world in the late 90s. scoring 81 goals in 102 appearances for Boca Juniors, though two leg injuries marred his time in Spain with Villarreal and Real Betis.  His return to Boca revitalized his career, with 75 goals in 127 appearances since 2004.  Palermo also played briefly, though notably, for Argentina, as he became the only player ever to miss three penalties in the same match against Columbia in 1999.

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Both players had careers in Argentina as good, if not better than reigning MLS MVP Schelotto.  Both could affect the league similarly.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , , ,

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