I’m admittedly a bit of a mawkish sap, especially when it comes to the growth of American soccer, so take it with a leather, stitched-panel grain of salt when I confess to getting chills last night upon reading one of David Beckham’s quotes from the announcement of his re-signing with the Galaxy.
The specific quote (or “inverted commas” to the Brits) ran as such in the LA Times.
“I’ve seen first-hand how popular soccer is now in the States and I’m committed as ever to growing the game here,” Beckham, who turns 37 in May. “My family and I are incredibly happy and settled in America and we look forward to spending many more years here.”
And with that, I felt a touch of pride. Chilling pride, I suppose.
No, Beckham’s not the top player in the world. Not even one of the top. And sure, most of the European clubs were banging down his door as much for marketing purposes as they were for what he would’ve brought to the pitch.
But they still couldn’t pry him from our league. And while his reasons for staying certainly weren’t solely about soccer in America (not uprooting his family and the exposure Hollywood affords the Beckham brand obviously came first here), our rendition of the beautiful game did factor in to his decision. And sadly or not, that’s good enough for me.
Welcome back, Becks.