Does David Beckham really make a difference?
He came here to promote soccer in the US. That only happens if he wins, and right now he is failing at both.
Why do we need David Beckham to help grow soccer in America? A 30-something Beckham is as interesting as an 80-year old Spice Girl.
It's a novelty, and the novelty is wearing off.
I know I, and everyone else, thought he would bring credibility to the MLS. He hasn't.
When Ronaldinho was asked if the rumors of him joining forces with Becks in LA, he laughed it off. He pretty much said, no chance in hell.
No matter what Beckham accomplishes in MLS, Europe will not respect us. I personally agree with that. They have history, tradition, passion for the game, which we do not.
So how do we grow the game in this country? What can we do to fix this?
It's not because people in America don't like or appreciate the game. I watch the Premier League every week as well as Champions League and Series A. Millions of other Americans do as well.
I live near a soccer complex that has 14 fields and an indoor facility that is packed year round. So there is potential for growth. But what do those kids have to look forward to?
At best they play high school or college soccer and hope MLS throws them a bone. There are no European coaches running through the college ranks to find the next great Series A or Bundesliga striker.
The only way to gain respect for American soccer is to win. Winning changes alot of minds.
Internationally we are not up to par, and our Olympic team bowed out of the first round of the games without any fan fare. Our young talent held their own initially but that mentality needs to be thrown out the window.
To win in international play we need someone who understands the game that is played in Europe and Brazil. England has an Italian coach, Portugal had a Brazilian coach. Why can't we?
Our young players are migrating away as well. Players like Guissepi Rossi, Jose Altidore, and Freddy Adu. Rossi won't even entertain the thought of playing for the US and dreams only of a chance to play for Italy. Who can blame him?
We need to contend on the big stage for multiple years. Go deep in the World Cup, or contend in the Olympics. Winning changes hearts and minds.
That's how the women's team burst onto the seen. They are contenders, if not favorites, in every tournament around the world they enter. That helps big.
As much as we want to be proud of the product we place on the field I would think we would be able to stuff our pride to get our players trained by the best available coach in the world. Not just the best available coach in America.
So in the end its not all Becks fault, but he sure ain't helpin'.
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