You know if the MLS really wants to keep attracting quality players then you should also should make an effort, even a token one to praise the player that has generated the most impact on the league and that player at the end of the season was not David Beckham, it was Cuauahtemoc Blanco.
In the state of the league speech Don Garber did not just single out Beckham for praise but gave him a big fat wet kiss. Blanco got a passing mention along with Juan Pablo Angel.
'The signing of David Beckham delivered on our expectations in every measure,' Garber said. 'The exposure we got because of David Beckham, regardless of how many games he played, was fantastic.'
Lets put this in prespective. Beckham sold jerseys and many at that. 250,000 and counting. Adidas made its money and so did AEG. But Beckham rarely played and the LA Galaxy missed the playoffs. But it was Blanco that got the crowd to come watch the Chicago Fire play, led them to the playoffs, and scored some quality goals. Attendance for the Fire games rose 60% to 16,000 the highest rate of increase for any club as the Fire made the playoffs after looking like their season was falling apart. Blanco was the catalyst and with Mexican Americans rallying behind him, the former Club America star has the backing of the fastest growing segment of soccer fans. There are quite a few reasons why Blanco should keep attracting a wider audience than David Beckham and it has nothing to do with the stature of Beckham, it has to do with the changing demographics of the sport.
On the other hand, the durability of Beckham will always be in question. He is 33 years old with chronic ankle injuries complicated by recent knee injuries which has severely curtailed his playing time. According to David Carter at USC, Beckham largely escaped the wrath of the fans because of his injuries. Their goodwill will be severely tested if Beckham does not get off to a fast start next season and prove that his freshman year was an anomaly.
As for the gushing Don Garber on Beckham.
'He is an absolute gentlemen,' Garber said. 'Everything we asked David to do, he did.
Yes, everything except play. Including just signing a $40m endorsement deal with Giorgio Armani which will include, you guessed it, underwear ads.