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Beckham Move a Major Step Forward for MLS and US Soccer

Not since the days of the NASL has a signing of a foreign player provided so much promise for the growth of soccer in America. Given the state of Soccer in America today, as compared to the days of the NASL, the signing of David Beckham has the potential to create permanent, lasting affects that benefit the game here in the U.S.When the NASL was in its heyday, many of the clubs were popular in their local market, but Soccer as a concept or an international game was unknown in this country. Not only was the US National Team not competitive, but little awareness existed of the historic nature of the clubs teams that populate the European and South American continents.

The NASL ushered in a growth era for American Soccer which has resulted in consistent World Cup appearances for the USA, live television for European Leagues and the most popular youth sport in the country. The one thing missing however, is consistent support and interest in a domestic league. When MLS began play in 1996 this was supposed to change, but ultimately the fanfare of the first few years wore off as more and more soccer fans began to see the product offered by the league as an inferior one.

While David Beckham is a one dimensional player, and will not make the impact on the overall quality of play in MLS as someone like, let’s say a Deco or Riquelme, he is the most marketable athlete in the world save Tiger Woods. The marketing power of someone as recognizable as Beckham is immense for a game that gets little respect from the mainstream media in this nation, and will force those snobs who consider soccer a “foreign” sport to pay some attention.

David Beckham’s international career with England is over. Now he moves on to a missionary task where he alone can provide the last link between the US market and international soccer scene. Beckham will fulfill his end of the bargain, but MLS must capitalize on the gains made by this splashy move and use it to solidify its place on both the American sports landscape and in International soccer scene.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

11 Responses to Beckham Move a Major Step Forward for MLS and US Soccer

  1. Sams Army says:

    MLS did its part by brining Beckham here. Now do your part and support MLS.

  2. Rafael says:

    What a signing! I can’t wait to see the Galaxy come August at the Home Depot Center. All of the Europeans who have scoffed at MLS and looked down upon the league can no longer look down upon us.

  3. DC United Fan says:

    This is the biggest and best deal MLS has ever made. To break through this ignorance and contempt for the great game here we had to make a splashy signing of this nature. Europe’s loss is MLS’ gain. David Beckham in MLS just 6 months after once again proving how deadly a kick taker he was in the World Cup. Who can believe it?

  4. Anonymous says:

    To assume one signing will change MLS is naive. All it has done has bought some PR for a week or two.

  5. Hat Trick Peter Crouch says:

    Becks is giving up on England and wearing the 3 lions shirt again. He will bring instant credibility to your once minor league.

  6. Juan Torres says:

    Beckham will be a full bown marketing tool for the league and for soccer in general. The european press says how can you pay so much for a player, while I say we paid for a player and a whole pr firm plus a celebrity. Not a bad deal.

  7. Hernandez says:

    what a massive signing for mls. now you european lovers see that the best in the world are willing to come here. beckham is the biggest star in all the world of athletics and he will make futbol work in north america. the tie up with the mexican league is official and beckham will be adored in mexico as he is adored the world throughout. this is a wonderful time for mls and concacaf region. many in europe will buy galaxy shirts and will watch galaxy like barca and porto and real. the galaxy are the next big fubol club on the planet.

  8. Harvey says:

    This is a great move and certainly gives MLS more international credibility. But should we really spend this sort of money and will MLS follow up with more decent signings?

  9. Anonymous says:

    This move makes MLS a league that the spotlight will shine on worldwide. American sports snobs can say MLS doesn’t matter but the rest of the world will be paying attention.

  10. Pingback: A Bit of This and That in US Soccer | Football Parade!

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