CBC Sports Online's soccer expert, John Molinaro, takes you inside the world of soccer and offers his insights about the action on the pitch and in the front office.
Don’t expect Beckham in MLS
Tuesday, November 14, 2006 | 11:30 AM ET
Major League Soccer has taken what it believes is a major step towards bringing high-profile players over from Europe to the United States.
This past weekend, MLS approved a change to the league’s salary cap by introducing the “Beckham Rule.” The rule stipulates that each MLS team can sign one player who will not count against the $2-million salary cap.
"We believe this league has established a solid foundation over 11 years," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "Now it's time to refocus our efforts to make our games more exciting than they already are."
While the prospect of David Beckham plying his trade in the U.S. is an interesting one, don’t count on seeing the former England captain playing in MLS any time soon.
There are two factors at play here that will prevent Beckham, who is out of contract with Real Madrid at the end of this season, from landing in MLS.
First, even though he’s currently being used as a substitute on Real Madrid, Beckham is a player with a great deal of pride and he doesn’t want to leave Spain without first proving his worth in la liga – Beckham hasn’t won a single major trophy with Real Madrid since arriving in Spain three years ago and you just know that sticks in his craw after piling up major silverware during his tenure with Manchester United.
Second, Beckham and MLS are not a good fit. Fans who expect Beckham to come to the U.S. and dominate MLS like Pele did in the 1970s when he played for the NASL's New York Cosmos are living in a fool’s paradise.
Beckham is not the type of player who can dominate and dictate the pace of the game like Pele. Beckham is very adroit at treading down the right side and crossing the ball into the middle and hitting bending free kicks, but that’s about it.
If he ever came to the U.S., Beckham would be fully exposed as the one-trick pony he is in the biggest sports market on the planet – and for an image-conscious player such as Becks, that would be the equivalent of commercial suicide.
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About the Author
John F. Molinaro is a reporter for CBC Sport Online whose chief love is international soccer. John served as senior editor of Sports Online's Euro 2004 website, which helped him win a CBC.ca Award of Excellence, and was the driving force behind our coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He holds an honours BA in sociology from York University and a print journalism diploma from Sheridan College, and is also the author of The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time (Stewart House, 2002).
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