The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Beckham to bend it in new US setting

By Robert Barowski/reporter

It’s official. Posh and Becks are coming to America as David Beckham has signed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

That’s right. The most recognized face in soccer and the former Spice Girl are coming across the pond, giving men and women alike significant eye candy to gawk at in magazines, on TV and, if you are a soccer fan, the stadium.

I, for one, am grateful to have them here. Victoria Beckham in my mind was the hottest Spice Girl of them all.

The deal is reportedly worth $250 million ($50 million a year), which makes him one of the most well-paid athletes in history.

To put that in perspective, the Texas Rangers paid Alex Rodriguez $26 million a year when he was actually hitting the ball with runners on base. Becks will make near double that in cash and endorsement deals. A-Rod’s contract was worth more in the long run, but annually he falls short to the soccer star.

The move may be the catalyst MLS needs to make soccer in America more than just an every-four-year interest.

Normally, professional soccer in America gets little coverage, but sees a big increase when the World Cup comes around. With the presence of Beckham, it’s a reasonable assumption the media will follow his every move, much as the British press does.

For the longest time, I considered Major League Soccer a third-rate soccer league, a mere pimple on the global soccer landscape. When the league began play in 1996, few big-name stars appeared on the rosters. 

Many of the big-name stars were playing overseas in Europe with teams like Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid, where the money and prestige were.

Most wouldn’t leave unless they were going to be set aside as reserves and never see playing time. MLS then became the place for soccer stars to ride off into the sunset.

A mere decade later, MLS has grown by leaps and bounds.

Where before ownership for all the teams rested with three people, including the late great Lamar Hunt, now several large investors are among the owners.

These new investors have lured players from overseas to sign with MLS clubs.

The signing of Beckham and the pursuit of other marketable stars make MLS legit in my eyes and should send the same message to other leagues throughout the world.

Recent actions by the league made such a signing possible. The “Beckham Rule,” passed in November, gave MLS teams the authority to acquire players outside the $2 million team salary cap.

Since the league’s inception, the league had paid all players out of a central fund and will still be responsible for paying up to $400,000 of the player’s salary, but the rest will paid for by the team.

Each team initially will receive one “designated player” roster slot, which can be traded among teams. No team, however, will be allowed more than two designated players.

Fans will have to wait a bit longer than expected to see the picture-perfect couple though.

The MLS season starts in April, but Becks won’t join his new team until July or August; he’s still under contract with Real Madrid until July 1.

Real Madrid doesn’t have much use for him. The team’s head coach, Fabio Capello, has already announced David’s playing days with the team are over because Capello thinks he won’t get the star’s full attention.

He’ll still be expected to train and travel with the team, but he will never get to leave the bench.

That means Becks will miss the majority of the regular season but will arrive on the scene just in time to help the Galaxy make that final push to the playoffs.

That’s a good thing since a fresh pair of legs will always help late in the season.

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