Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy: Ten Year Anniversary of David Beckham Signing

David Beckham LA Galaxy
(L to R) Galaxy Head Coach Frank Yallop, Team President Alexi Lalas, David Beckham, AEG President Tim Leiweke, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa during a press conference introducing Beckham as the newest member of the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 13, 2007 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the official signing of David Beckham with the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer (MLS).  As the most recognizable player in the world at the time, a move to the Galaxy and MLS was seen as a huge move, in many ways it elevated the team and league but also put a spotlight on American soccer.

Embed from Getty Images

 

At the time of the move Beckham was still playing in Spain for soccer giant Real Madrid as a “Galactico,” the term given to the Galaxy of stars that occupied the team at the time.  He was 32 and still a world class player, a move to America where soccer popularity was still in an infancy and MLS as a league was still considered a minor league of sorts.

Becham’s goals for the move were simple:

 “Soccer is huge all around the world except in America and that’s where I want to make a difference,” said Beckham at the time.

Ten years later it’s interesting to see what impact the Beckham move made overall.

First it elevated MLS as a league overall.  The league had been created in 1996 as a guarantee in order for U.S. Soccer to host the 1994 World Cup.  By 2007 the league had struggled with expansion and contraction of teams, only a handful of teams played in their own stadiums in fact most still played in huge NFL or College stadiums to small crowds.

With the exposure of the Beckham move the league was suddenly moved from the back pages to the front pages of sports, Beckham became the first MLS player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Now the league is as profitable as ever, expanding into more markets like Orlando, they have exposure internationally through TV deals with ESPN and Univision, and since the Beckham move have attracted other great international players who bring even more credibility to the league.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The move also has elevated American soccer as whole, now when the U.S. Men’s or Women’s teams play in high profile international competitions it is must see T.V. as fans flock to outdoor venues in droves to cheer on team USA. Those fans very likely were exposed to soccer for the first time as coverage of Beckham ratcheted up during his move to MLS.

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

On the field Beckham continued to be just as celebrated, though he struggled with injuries at times his play elevated the Galaxy as they ended up playing in three MLS Cup Finals while he was on the team winning back-to-back cups in his final two years.

Embed from Getty Images

 

It wasn’t a perfect move but it was probably close to it, David Beckham deciding to bring is his brand may have been more about celebrity instead of sports at times.  It can not be doubted that the move ten years later was certainly a success that changed the landscape of soccer in the U.S. and certainly for MLS.

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and subscribe to our YouTube page.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Comments

More Footy You May Also Like

MLS

Are nine matches enough to constitute a true “rivalry” between clubs? You bet! Red Bulls opened the 2020 MLS Is Back tournament with a...

MLS

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will re-start their season on July 13, returning with the rest of the league in the #MLSisBack Tournament...

MLS

The transfer window is going to look different this year. There will still be a few big signings, (see Chelsea’s acquisition of Timo Werner)...

MLS

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) had an uncharacteristically rough night on defense against the Philadelphia Union as a wild game at Banc of...

MLS

On Sunday night, many of the Philadelphia Union supporters who had stayed up to catch their team’s match would not have expected much from...

MLS

The Portland Timbers kicked off their 2020 MLS season, and their 10th in the league, with a home opener against the Minnesota United FC...

MLS

The Seattle Sounders bowed out of the Concacaf Champions League in dramatic fashion on Thursday night in Seattle as CD Olimpia scored an equalizer...

Advertisement