Another good argument that popped up in my Inbox, this one from Ryan Dempsey (who ok'd me naming him as author). Ryan likes to talk soccer and is always willing to offer an opinion, though he's careful to state that these are just his own ideas.
In my opinion, there are three ways that Beckham’s arrival can help the MLS and they sort of are interrelated.
- The style of play in MLS is what creates the illusion that the level of play is inferior to the rest of the world.(although improving the style will also increase the level a bit as well). If he can help improve the STYLE of play, it will simply look more entertaining to the naked eye and that will improve the overall perception of the league and its players. Fan support will be a byproduct of that. The Argentine league is an example. The league and its players are good. The STYLE of play is attacking and entertaining. But I wouldn’t say that that league , which is of my favorites, is as far superior to MLS, in terms of LEVEL of play, as many would think. And many of the greatest talents to exit Argentina for , become flops.(although I recognize that argentians are known for being hits In as well) The fact is that MLS teams are just as good as Mexican Teams and you will see that during head to head matchups. Those same Mexican teams have a strong reputation of beating up on Argentine teams in the big south American tournaments. Some use the argument that those games mean more to Mexican teams and that is why they do so well in those south American tournaments. This may be true but its also true. One way to find out how we fare is to enter a team or two into those tournaments as well AND/OR win the Champions Cup again to see how we fare in a meaningful game against a CF Internacional or . MLS teams losing to Costa Rican clubs on a regular basis is not good for the league. This is considered one of the weaker regions of the world of soccer. We have to dominate this region if we , at the club level, are to be taken seriously. Which brings me to…..
- The STYLE of play can improve if we bring more players who practice that style at a world class level. Beckham’s arrival can help us do that. He HAS to act as an advocate to the league during his stay here and after his retirement. If he does this, I believe that more players will come( and it will help offset all the hatin’ that comes out of Beano Cooke’s old ignorant mouth). The more players like that on the field per game the more the game will improve in terms of the level and style of play. We need everyone from your Rivaldo, Denilson, Bellamy, Puyol, Raul, to your Rodrigo Palacio, Nilmar, Theo Walcott. We need guys who are beginning careers with talent, guys who are established and in their prime and guys who are past their prime but established and experienced. We need guys from South Ameirica, , Africa, Asia and of course . Even Austrailia. We need to broaden our horizons in terms of scouting. Beckham presence, the lifestyle in the US, the style and level of the play, the challenge of helping out a new league with great potential, the exposure to other big teams etc. can all be used to close deals. This will not only improve the product on our home soil and produce residual talent (domestic and foreign), But it will help us dominate the region and give us more opportunities to play(and defeat) other respected teams in the world in meaningful games.
- Beckham’s experience alone with two of Europe’s biggest teams in two of ’s top leagues would probably mean that he know a thing or two about how things are done behind the scene’s. Now granted, has a different culture and different economic system. But David has probably seen some common denominators between England and , two countries that are ALMOST just as different to each other as they are to . You and I both know that he has a lot of advice that our commissioners and general managers could use. He needs to be either a paid advisor to the league or simply work for the league himself when he has retired from playing. I think the league needs help in terms of how it markets the sport, how the sport is televised, how it finds new talent, how the refs influence the game, how to continue to improve the level and style of play, what types of relationship we have with the rest of the world of football, how the entire system is run. I wish he could have enough power to weed out all the soccer dad’s, who don’t know the game, from important positions within US soccer and MLS.