Saturday, June 02, 2007

Beckham Plays Stunningly - Is MLS In Trouble?

Yesterday marked the return of David Beckham to the England lineup against world powerhouse Brazil. Earning his national team spot by producing a run of good form to finish out his Real Madrid career, Beckham seems to have sealed his place for the important forthcoming Euro qualifiers. (click title to read more)

Should MLS be worried? After all, AEG put up big money to bring him to LA and every other team altered their ticket structure to account for his arrival. Heck, the league even drafted the schedule so everyone could get to see Old Spice. Andrew Hush wrote a brilliant piece sizing up the situation before yesterday's game. The last two lines are foreboding:

It remains to be seen whether 'David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy and England’ is a passing trend or something we have to become used to. After all, if he flops over the next five days in the red, white and blue, LA has nothing to worry about.

Well, it looks like they have something to worry about. As Hush's article points out, LA can refuse to let Beckham play in any friendlies unless they are on Fifa sanctioned dates. So, we here in New England who would like to catch a glimpse of the svelte soccertarian should have no fear. However, the upcoming Euro qualifiers will eat into the Galaxy's home schedule, which is already sparse during Beckham's first season. That has to be a hard pill to swallow for those who bought season tickets expecting to see him regularly. Most hit would be those who have had season tickets, and only endured the outrageous price hikes because the team signed Becks.

There's another scenario that LA has to worry about. If they fail to make the playoffs, Beckham will have 5 1/2 months off from MLS action. That's not a schedule conducive to a footballer getting prepared for the second biggest international competition in the world. He'll probably want a two month loan to an EPL side to stay sharp. That would probably conflict with the Galaxy's Asian trip scheduled during the offseason. The team would lose out on millions. If Beckham was prevented that opportunity, it would lead down a slippery slope leading to a disgruntled Beckham buying out his contract. AEG would recoup it's money, but the embarrassment for MLS would take years to recover from.

Alexi Lalas stated yesterday that a loan was out of the question. Of course, that's just Alexi trying to sound important. The decision won't be up to him. Beckham will choose his destiny. What he chooses is the question.