Nov 29, 2012, 6:31 PM EDT
CARSON, Calif. – When it comes to meaningful media endeavor, Major League Soccer exists in two separate universes. There’s “MLS Adorned with David Beckham” and then there’s otherwise.
Which is, by the way, why questioning the success of the Beckham experiment, the man’s ability to attract a larger audience and amplify interest beyond the niche soccer crowd, is just plain silly. Just look at the number of cameras at the man’s Thursday afternoon press conference at the Home Depot Center (pictured).
By comparison, there may be four or five cameras tonight when the Dynamo arrive at their nearby hotel later tonight.
So the scene was distinctly “MLS Adorned with Beckham” on Thursday. That is, jam packed and fueled by a certain feeling of importance – a feeling that does not always accompany Major League Soccer events, even on its pinnacle MLS Cup week.
Beckham didn’t reveal much new, but there were moments of insight and of quintessential Beckham-ness. Let’s review some of the “highlights” of his press event:
On whether he is feeling any pangs of emotion ahead of his final Galaxy match:
It’s been an enjoyable week…. I am quite an emotional person. I know I will feel more emotion probably the day of the game. Maybe the night before the game. But I am really excited about the game itself. To be in third MLS Cup final, especially one being played in our own stadium, I am excited. And it’s going to be special.”
Some of the questions were quite thought-provoking. And some were more bubble gum variety. Like about whether, over six years, he was gotten used to saying “soccer.”
Even after six years, I’m still personally getting used to saying ‘soccer.’ … To me it will always be football.”
On a question about his impact with MLS, one reporter asked Beckham for an honest self-assessment, even encouraging the Galaxy star of stars not to be shy about it. Said Beckham as he prepared to respond: “I can’t help my shyness.”
Yes, the man who has appeared in photos, on high def TV and on ginormous billboards across the globe wearing everything from a skirt to pretty much nothing at all just said that.
What about growth as a player? Could Major League Soccer really have taught this well-traveled sort, after all those high-level matches at Manchester United and Real Madrid, anything about the game?
I do believe I have matured even more so as a player. As you get older, the mind gets a bit quicker, to be honest. The legs may be a little slower than you were when you were 21. But as I’ve said before, I’ve never been a quick player.”
About the Cosmos and his possible involvement in the ongoing resurrection of that once-mighty brand:
I’ve been hearing the Cosmos thing for the last two or three years. That’s not true. My manager definitively has not had conversations on that side.”
He also pooh-poohed reports out just today that he would soon join AS Monaco. He said he heard that one from a friend on the car ride over to the Home Depot Center:
I’m very flattered by some of the interest I’ve had, some of the serious interest I’ve had. It’s always nice to be recognized by managers, and good managers. …. It means a lot to me. I’ve tried to base my whole career over being professional and working hard. It’s nice to be recognized like this.”
Beckham’s once-turbulent relationship with Landon Donovan has been well chronicled. But the two long ago reached amicable accord by all appearances. Now Beckham says he hopes Donovan doesn’t close off a brilliant career too soon. Beckham says Donovan still has plenty to offer in terms of ability and otherwise.
About Donovan’s repeated warnings that he may soon turn the professional page:
Let’s hope that was just a moment that he had. From what I see on the training field and when he’s on the field, the hunger is still there.”
By the way, Beckham talked about his teammate as being a “young man.” Only an athlete in winter, 37 years old, calls a 30-year-old athlete a “young man.”
Finally, Beckham initially said he wanted to accept one more challenge as a player. That was two weeks ago. Now, with a little more time for things to settle, he said his feelings on keeping that right foot swinging have not changed.
I still feel like a good player, and I’m still not considering retiring.”
Jul 29, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT
Borussia Dortmund star turns down new deal, alerts European giants.
Jul 29, 2014, 7:51 AM EDT
England youngster told he’s “not fit enough” and ordered to train on his own by van Gaal. Ouch.
Jul 29, 2014, 12:37 AM EDT
Sounders’ tendency to collapse resurfaces during the Galaxy’s biggest win of the season.
Jul 28, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT
A terrible move could get worse if Chelsea can’t move the Spanish striker.
Jul 28, 2014, 10:13 PM EDT
Belgian international intends to stay at White Hart Lane, with a new, five-year deal on the table.
Jul 28, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT
Napoli, Borussia Dortmund linked to the potential United castoffs.
Jul 28, 2014, 8:22 PM EDT
Colombian international expected to play Saturday against Valencia.
Jul 28, 2014, 7:37 PM EDT
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Jul 28, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT
Brazilian’s injury testing United’s depth on the right side.
Jul 28, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
U.S. international’s knee surgery will sideline him for “several weeks.”
Jul 28, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT
Two Saints look to follow their former manager to North London.
Jul 28, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT
Timber’s game-winning goal in Montréal separated him from a tight field.
Jul 28, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
After two on-pitch selfie’s occur with players over the weekend, security needs to be stepped up.
Jul 28, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Could Neymar represent Brazil at the 2016 Olympics in Rio?
Jul 28, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
Besic, 21, has signed a five-year deal with the Toffees.
Jul 28, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT
Bale smashes in an absolute beauty from distance. Check it out, here.
Jul 28, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
After selling over $170 million of talent so far this summer, what are Saints playing at?
Jul 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Boyd out after injury in Queens Park Rangers friendly.
Jul 28, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
He may be one of the best soccer players the planet has ever seen, but Messi is not above the law.
Jul 28, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Arsenal splash the cash to sign 19-year-old Southampton academy graduate.
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