Major League Soccer’s 2013 regular season begins on March 2. Yet, somehow, there seems to be something missing. Oh yes, David Beckham will not be playing with the Los Angeles Galaxy or any other MLS team. The famous midfielder is playing with Paris Saint-Germain and making headlines. While MLS has a bright future ahead, 2013 will not be the same without Beckham. I’m going to miss seeing Beckham at the Home Depot Center. However, even though Becks is irreplaceable, MLS is going to be just fine.
Beckham’s Contribution To MLS
Beckham definitely had star power. His name alone brought fans and attention to the league. Becks was signed in January of 2007. Yet, it was in 2011 when he really started to shine. During that year, Beckham had 15 assists, the second most in the league. As a MLS All-Star, MLS Comeback Player of the Year and Best XI selection, the midfielder helped his team earn the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup. In 2012, he scored seven goals and had nine assists in the regular season. Again he helped the Galaxy win their second consecutive MLS Cup. During his time with the Galaxy, some critics doubted Beckham’s devotion to MLS. However, Beckham always played with passion and wowed spectators with his dead ball precision.
Designated Players on the Galaxy Squad
Without Beckham, the Galaxy still have Designated Players Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. Scoring 16 goals in 28 regular season games, Keane had an amazing 2012 season and is a Golden Boot favorite for 2013. Although Landon Donovan has taken a short break from soccer, he is supposed to return to the club in late March. Until then, Mike Magee will probably play next to Keane. I expect them to work some magic.
Young Talent Vital To League
While MLS will always have big names like Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan, its young talent is an important part of the league’s future. In 2012, rookies like Chicago Fire’s Austin Berry, D.C. United’s Nick DeLeon, Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks, Toronto FC’s Luis Silva and FC Dallas’ Matt Hedges were on fire. Over the past few years, the Galaxy’s success can partially be attributed to its DPs. However, a lot of the credit can go to less famous players like Juninho and Omar Gonzalez. Of course, it’s good to see homegrown talent like Jose Villarreal having so much success at the beginning of his professional career.
As time goes on, new MLS stars will emerge and Beckham’s legacy will fade into the background. Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said that Beckham’s star power cannot be replicated. Yet, more importantly, he added, “We don’t need to have the David Beckham effect to drive the future. We just need good teams, good players, and terrific competition.”
Major League Soccer will go on without David Beckham. I’ll just miss seeing his free kicks.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.