"David Beckham is a global sports icon who will transcend the sport of soccer in America," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "His decision to continue his storied career in Major League Soccer is testament to the fact that America is rapidly becoming a true 'Soccer Nation' with Major League Soccer at the core."
The Galaxy, citing industry experts, said Beckham's deal is worth more than $250 million in salary and commercial endorsements and is "thought to be the biggest in sporting history."
Beckham will become the biggest star to play soccer in the United States since Pele and Franz Beckenbauer played in the now-defunct North American Soccer League in the 1970s. ... "I don't think it's just about glitz," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said. "He wants to play on a winning team and be part of a winning organization and help build the game in the United States."
Huh? That's like a cook deciding to leave France or Italy for England. Is this career suicide? Or will soccer actually catch on in the United States?
My guess is that Beckham will become a recognized American celebrity in time, but the sport will be mostly ignored and left in the dust. Do you think the average American can name another professional cyclist other than Lance? Can Joe Schmo name a hockey player other than The Great One? Doubtful.
Sports fans love sports, but Americans love celebrities, especially in Los Angeles, where Beckham will suit up (notice that he didn't sign with Real Salt Lake or Columbus?). I'm excited for his presence in the game Stateside, but unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that (an American) celebrity is all that Beckham will become. I bet someday soon Posh + Bex ~= Brangelina.
I have to disagree...I think it will catch on, because it already has started. The generations before us never played soccer, therefore it doesn't make much sense that they would watch it. Our generation, however, is one of the first to have soccer as a high school sport. Quickly, after high school is established, grade school and youth leagues started (thus the famed "soccer moms"). We now have a soccer literate generation that at least gives soccer a chance of catching on.
On the other hand, girls basketball in high school and college is doing very well, but the pros...not so much. Still, I think there's a chance (grown men can drink beer while watching it, in fact I think that is encouraged).
It is true that our generation has played soccer while growing up. But how many of your peers have attended a MLS game as of yet? I personally know two. Do you think it will change once Bex starts playing here? Currently soccer, in the US, is a game for small children to play to develop teamwork, social, and physcial skills. But mostly, it lets little kids burn off energy while parents can chat about the joys of lawn care and minivans. Soccer participation (and interest) dies down once kids hit high school and it becomes uber-competitive; much like swimming or gymnastics.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy soccer and would love for it to catch on. But I don't think it will anytime soon.