Monday, September 3, 2007

Poor Salazar

Poor Fernando Salazar. The Pachuca defender is mentioned only as an afterthought detail in countless news articles about David Beckham's latest injury. What's often overlooked is that after the two clashed in the same tackle, Salazar left the game with the exact same injury as Beckham - a sprained right knee.

Of course, this raises a simple question about many reports that have rushed in to blame the Galaxy, Lalas, Yallop and Beckham himself for over-working their newest and greatest asset. Mind, I don't disagree with the prevalent opinion that it was a bad idea to play David so much. What I have a problem with is the quick leap to the conclusion that this caused his knee injury.

It probably didn't help the situation when Beckham himself said that he didn't know if he was overcompensating for his weak ankle on the tackle (going in a little slower than he would have) in the post-game press conference. A key point there is that Beckham admitted to not knowing if that played any factor. But then so many articles came out about how playing Beckham while he was still recuperating led to his injury. The tone taken in many of the pieces was that the Galaxy had basically asked for this to happen to David by playing him.

True, Beckham could not have injured his knee if he wasn't playing at all. But it's also true that he could have injured it even if his ankle was perfectly healthy. I'm probably not the first one to point this out to David, but he's never been lightning-quick on his tackles. A completely fit Salazar suffered the same injury, so it's possible that a fit Beckham could have done so as well. Instead of the sprain being due to the Galaxy's neglect to care for David, it could have simply been one of those things that happens in pro sports all the time.

As a writer, though, I recognize that the dramatic portrayal of a hobbled and exhausted Beckham heroically being stoic about how his club team is exploiting him is more compelling. So too is the storyline that the Yanks screwed up royally with David and got their just desserts with the result. Salazar is an inconvenient detail for both those themes, so he's basically left out entirely by anyone trying to drive those two points home.


Eric said...

Great article. Everyone was looking for an excuse to clobber Lalas and Yallop. Hard to believe that after all the articles written, this is the first time I heard the Pachuca guy was hurt.

FC Uptown said...

Interesting view. Of course Pachuca won the match and the tournament (the important stuff) - so it isn't all for naught for that team. BTW, has Klinsi been seen recently?

A.C. said...

Not by me.

Anonymous said...

Well put, A.C. It's inevitable that the super-hype accompanying Beckham would tilt analyses one way or the other,depending upon the fortunes. Everyone was giddy beyond belief when he bent one in for a goal in his first full game. A true love-fest with the brains and bucks that brought him over. A few weeks later, an untimely challenge provides one of those knocks that every player eventually gets, only it's magnified a million times. But the flood of recriminations starts flowing.

While the Galaxy schedule was extreme, I don't think it had anything to do with the injury. Afterall, Beckham was pretty damn fit and rested when he originally mashed up his ankle with the England team. Stuff like that happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise yet another Galaxy apologist post by AC.

Soledad said...

For alliteration purposes you could have titled this "Poor Pollo".