David Beckham's Top 10 MLS Moments
Like it or not, David Beckham is the most widely known MLS player in the world.
He's a flagship player, and has been ever since he arrived with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.
Debate will undoubtedly rage forever about the effectiveness that Beckham has had in "winning Americans over to soccer," as argument goes.
Yet he has certainly had an impact, scoring trademark free kicks and whipping in beautiful crosses for his Galaxy teammates.
So what have been Beckham's top MLS moments? Here's a look at a few.
No. 10: Two Goals Against the Timbers (July 14th, 2012)
This one just happened, but it's a great moment still.
Mired in an early season slump, the Galaxy have counted on Beckham more this season than maybe ever.
And with five goals already this season, he's tied his highest total in any season for L.A.
On that particular night, Beckham was in rare form. He fired the Galaxy to a lead after falling behind 1-0, notching two goals.
After that, he helped to orchestrate three more goals on the way to a wild 5-3 win.
No. 9: Inaugural Tour
It's true, David Beckham was hurt for much of his first season in MLS (2007).
And it's tough to see that as a good thing in any way.
Yet, some of the biggest crowds in the history of several MLS stadiums were during Beckham's inaugural tour.
And yes, perhaps this wasn't a fine moment for Beckham's pure soccer career (as he didn't even play in most of those games).
Still, it was a great moment for Beckham the ambassador. He had been brought to America to put people in the seats. And he was wildly successful in that period.
No. 8: The Free Kicks
The attached clip was from a game against Chivas in October, 2010. It's just one of a few moments of pure magic that Beckham has delivered to MLS.
Specifically, his free kicks are the crowd-pleasers. And anytime he hits one, it becomes part of his legacy and one of his finest MLS moments.
After all, the movie "Bend it Like Beckham" was probably second in popularizing that phrase behind Beckham himself.
No. 7: Signs New Contract with Galaxy (2011)
During his time in MLS, Beckham has gone out on loan to AC Milan, and trained with both Arsenal and Tottenham.
He's made no secret of his ambitions at different times, regardless if those ambitions lie outside of MLS.
Yet, it would have to be said that another of his finest MLS moments came when he decided to resign with the Galaxy last fall.
Having just won his first league title, it would have been completely acceptable if he had wanted to leave, or simply retire.
Beckham, however, opted to stay, injecting new faith and confidence into a league constantly looking for star-power reassurance.
No. 6: Goal Against Dallas Helps Reach First Supporter's Shield (2010)
On a historic night in October, 2010, Beckham helped to fire the Galaxy to their first MLS Supporter's Shield during his tenure.
He scored a pivotal goal against Dallas that proved even more monumental than the 2-1 win suggested.
It helped to give the Galaxy the best regular season record in the league, and the Shield as a result.
No. 5: Beckham Scores off a Corner (July 9th, 2011)
On July 9th, 2011, Beckham got arguably one of the most bizarre goals in MLS history.
He scored by himself off of a corner kick.
It was an avoidable, savable ball to be sure. Still, Beckham's intimidation factor got the better of the Chicago defense and they clearly botched the clearance.
It may have been partly lucky, but it was incredible skill in any case.
No. 4: First MLS Goal (April 4th, 2008)
Watching the replay of this goal (which came in a rivalry game against San Jose), it's apparent just how excited everyone was to see such a moment.
Beckham had arrived in the U.S. the previous year, but hadn't scored in an MLS league game mostly due to injuries which kept him from playing.
In 2008 though, he dispelled any notion about frailty or declining skills.
No. 3: Beckham Scores "That" Goal (May 24th, 2008)
It might not have been as difficult as some would have liked, and it might have received more lavish praise simply because it was Beckham, but don't tell me a 70-yard goal isn't special.
With seconds remaining in a 2008 game against the Wizards, Beckham collected the ball after defending corner, turned up-field and saw that K.C.'s goalie was up attacking on the corner kick.
Without blinking, he took a few dribbles and then promptly lashed the ball into the opposition net from well within his own end.
Indeed, it was marvelous skill and a goal to remind everyone how great he could be.
No. 2: Signing with MLS
On January 11th, 2007, the biggest transaction (or story, for that matter) in MLS history was confirmed.
David Beckham, formerly a star of both Manchester United and Real Madrid, was coming to America.
The apparent $250 million contract turned out to not quite be true (as it included mostly endorsements).
Nonetheless, Beckham was the highest-paid player in the league by far, and overnight became its official face.
This was a breakthrough moment for the league and American soccer in general. That Beckham had the courage, or mental will to see such a move come to fruition makes it a top moment.
No. 1: Wins MLS Cup (2011)
While the marketing and star power of Beckham has been a major asset to the league and the popularity of soccer in America, manifestly Becks is a player first.
And in that way, winning trophies has been a top priority.
If the Galaxy were to never have won a title with their star man, the move would be seen as a failure by everyone, not just in soccer but sports.
So with a 1-0 triumph over the Houston Dynamo on November 20th, 2011 in the MLS Cup Final, Beckham claimed the prize he had sought since first stepping into MLS action.
And he even had an assist in the final, once again showing his propensity for big-game situations.
It has been a wild ride for David Beckham in MLS, but winning a championship is indisputably his greatest moment.