Becks on Board
Will David Beckham raise the status of soccer in the U.S.?
David Beckham’s autobiography, Beckham: Both Feet on the Ground, is an international best-seller.
Credit: A. BIBARD/PANORAMIC/ZUMA PRESS
This summer, English soccer icon David Beckham heads to California to join the Los Angeles Galaxy team, bringing serious star power to American soccer. Will Beckham make American soccer more popular?
In Europe, Beckham is a high-profile athlete who built his 15-year career playing for the Manchester United and Real Madrid clubs. He’s the only English player ever to score in three consecutive World Cups.
Beckham is also well known in the U.S., even though soccer doesn’t have nearly the same following here as sports like football, baseball, and basketball. Fans hope Beckham’s celebrity status will get Americans excited about soccer and boost game attendance. Their dreams may come true. In less than 48 hours after Beckham signed his $50-million contract with the Galaxy, the team sold more than 5,000 season tickets.
But can one celebrity really bring an entire sport into the mainstream? What do you think? Here’s what two teens have to say.
By 7th-grader Emmet Smith, New York City
David Beckham is a famous and skilled player, and I think that people in the United States are going to pay more attention to soccer now that he is here. He will draw much attention.
I also think his presence will encourage American soccer players in the big leagues to play better and harder. It’s great that he is here because it will help our soccer teams by attracting more fans.
By 10th-grader Gustavo Agudelo, Parsippany, New Jersey
Only a World Cup for the national team can raise the status of soccer. The addition of a superstar like David Beckham won’t elevate the sport, as is evident by past events. In the 1970s, Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer, two of the greatest players of all time, were brought over to play for the New York Cosmos. They brought great crowds to Giants Stadium, but their success was short-lived. Soon, soccer was once again a non-factor in American society.