Like many people, I was excited for the arrival of David Beckham to America, but I did not think that he could revive soccer here. After Beckham played only a handful of minutes in his first couple of MLS games, he finally started against D.C. United on Thursday in a Super Liga game . Beckham’s impact was felt immediately, especially after his goal in the 27th minute. He added an assist later in the game to cap off a Los Angeles Galaxy win. One of the worst teams in Major League Soccer, the Galaxy managed to beat D.C. United mainly because of Beckham. The goal and assist are what stand out, but his presence on the field is what may have won the game. Unlike most MLS players, Beckham has the ability to make great pass after great pass. This leads to multiple scoring chances for the Galaxy. With Landon Donovan at striker, Los Angeles will score a lot more goals than they are used to scoring. Against D.C. United, Beckham’s assist was to Donovan who put the ball in the back of the net. Expect that combination to hook up many more times this season.
On top of that, Beckham has a veteran presence on the field. He never looks rattled on the field, even if he is inside, and his confidence spreads throughout the team. If one of the world’s best players thinks we can win, then we can win. That mindset has spread throughout the Galaxy and is just another positive that Beckham brings to the team. Therefore, maybe it is possible for one player to completely change a team, to make a loser into a winner.
Fast forward to today’s game, where the Galaxy faced the New York Red Bulls. The outcome probably wasn’t what Beckham was looking for as the Red Bulls won the game, but the score may matter more. The Galaxy lost 5-4, but that is a huge improvement in itself. They had not scored in the four previous games (excluding Super Liga games) and had more than three goals only one other time this season. Beckham had two assists in the match, and indirectly assisted on a couple of other goals. By that I mean that <Beckham’s passes, shots, and free kicks created eight corner kicks for the Galaxy and they scored on a couple of them. Besides his golden foot, Beckham has brought so much more to the Galaxy than anyone could imagine. If Beckham can completely change one team and bring support back to a struggling team, then another one or two great players could actually revive soccer. I never thought that Beckham could possibly make Americans enjoy soccer, but if he can make matches higher scoring and of better quality, then maybe Beckham can do it. He even brought more than 66,000 fans out to watch him in the Giants’ Stadium.