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With the amazing boost in ratings that Beckham has brought MLS, it’s tough to set your mind to the day that he leaves Major League Soccer. The day that all the Beckham L.A. Galaxy jerseys have been sold and the last of his swerving free kicks have been taken, what happens then?

I’m sure there’s a think tank of America’s greatest marketing minds hidden somewhere in the jungles of Los Angeles pondering this issue right now. Let me throw my idea out there and see if it sticks: Beckham needs an entourage.  Not Tom Cruise. Not Will Smith. Not any A-List actor. He needs to pal around with other MLS players right now. He needs to hang with his boys that play on the same pitch. Why? He’s clearly not in the same tax bracket. Probably lives way outside any of their neighborhoods.

He needs to do it because the American soccer fan has to cheer for more than David Beckham right now. We need to learn about Jozy Altidore, Luciano Emilio, Juan Toja, Landon Donovan and the rest of the guys that really make Major League Soccer tick. There has to be amazing stories and cool personalities among the hundreds of MLS players. Hook Beckham up with them so that his spotlight can share their story. All he has to do is mention the name of another player in an interview and they become the next storyline.

These boys in America can play. I agree that the overall level isn’t the same as the Barclay’s Premier League, but it’s still damn good and fun to watch when the crowd is in it, and the player’s care about the score. I was at the Wizards and Chivas USA game in Kansas City this year and had a great time. Even though the 11,000-plus fans that showed up were buried in the sea of red seats at Arrowhead Stadium, you could still feel the emotion in the players and the fans when Yura Movsisyan scored in the final minutes for the Wizards to pull out a win. There is passion lurking in the MLS that goes beyond the fashionable fanaticism surrounding David Beckham. Becks, along with ESPN and Major League Soccer have the power to grow that emotion into something more important—loyalty. Loyal fans are the foundation for any league to sustain itself and grow.  

David Beckham is quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to the MLS. I’ve got no problem saying that. But, he has no idea of his true potential until he can selflessly share the media attention he receives. I don’t know the guy but from what I’ve seen he is exactly the celebrity personality that is able to do exactly that. He seems selfless and almost shy at times. I believe he can share the spotlight and I hope he does.


About the author: tmarrero


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One Comment

  1. Hi Tony, I think he’s really trying. He has a show on FSC called David Beckham’s Soccer USA that has a counterpart in the UK. The weekly show is about MLS, teams, players etc. The hosts talk about the clubs, show the week’s highlights and interview Beckham a couple of times each show. They just started a theme that has him profile a few of his teammates each week. He did a great job with the first group, so hopefully that will continue.
    Also, he does talk about the other players in press conferences, but reporters pick and choose which quotes they use. Either way, even when they didn’t need the publicity, he’s always talked about his teammates and been generous about opponents. He talked about a bunch of the NYRB players in post-match interviews, and about how great Jozy is. He’s a big fan of the game and other players (and a big cheerleader!) so I think he’ll find ways to communicate that despite the quote editing.