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SAF: Beckham won't convert USA

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SAF: Beckham won't convert USA

Postby tracylynn » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:01 pm

Fergie: Beckham won't convert USA

David Beckham faces a near-impossible task to turn football into one of the USA's major sports, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Manchester United manager feels his former Old Trafford protege cannot transform the fortunes of the sport by himself.
And he argued the sheer size of the USA and the exodus of young American talent to Europe would stunt the growth of Major League Soccer despite Beckham's best efforts.

Ferguson also claimed the former Real Madrid player's celebrity status had overshadowed his significance as a footballer.

Los Angeles Galaxy signed Beckham - currently out with a knee injury - on a five-year contract worth up to £128million in a bid to boost the popularity of the game. But Ferguson feels the England midfielder will struggle to have a major impact on his own when the combined talents of Pele, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer failed to have a lasting impact after playing for New York Cosmos three decades ago.

"In the late '70s I went to America with Aberdeen and there were guys like (Teofilo) Cubillas and (Peter) Shilton there," the Scot said.

"Before that there was Pele, Cruyff, Beckenbauer. It is difficult with David going there - I don't know what kind of impact he can make. David Beckham himself can't change the whole country."

And Ferguson feels the distance between teams affects the impact of football on American society.

"The size of the country makes it difficult," he said. "In European football, and especially in British football, you can travel easily.

"If you are Boston and need to go to Los Angeles it's a six-hour flight. Supporters don't travel so you are missing that rivalry between fans.

"So you have a problem. To make it substantial you would have to go regional but there's not enough teams to have four strong leagues."

Ferguson, who was speaking to an audience at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, feels the MLS is also undermined by an exodus of young homegrown talent.

"What you have got in the States is that a lot of kids are playing football in the States and there is nowhere to go," he said.

"The best American players go to Europe very early, like Brad Friedel (at Blackburn), (Brian) McBride and (Clint) Dempsey at Fulham. So that situation doesn't help the American game."


And while Ferguson feels Beckham will struggle to have the required impact on the field, he claimed the 31-year-old's celebrity persona had overtaken his status as a sportsman following his marriage to Spice Girl Victoria.

When asked if Beckham was difficult to deal with at United, the 65-year-old said: "He was never a problem until he got married. He used to go into work with the academy coaches at night time, he was a fantastic young lad.

"Getting married into that entertainment scene was a difficult thing - from that moment his life was never going to be the same.

"He is such a big celebrity, football is only a small part. The big part is his persona."


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Though I'm no fan of SAF he does make some valid points. One being the size of the US. It is big and the teams are far aprt from each other. The second part was how Beckham's celebrity status has taken over and it seems like he's more of a popstar and not a football player. SAF is not the first person to claim that Posh is the problem. Heck, even David said that he never cared about clothes until he met her. Thirdly, David is not going to change the thinking of the country. Though a lot of folks think he can, he simply can not.
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Postby podolski4life » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:47 am

Not to mention Beckham's out for about 6 weeks with a leg injury. Which is pretty much a season-ender for him, seeing as the Galaxy's last game is October 21. They should demand some of their money back.
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Postby Paddy » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:04 am

I fail to see why anyone cares about this hollywood star.
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Postby tracylynn » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:37 pm

Paddy wrote:I fail to see why anyone cares about this hollywood star.


I agree. I think that is the problem with him and I think SAF was pointing that out with the talk about his celebrity status being more important. I can not think of any other athlete who seems to love the spotlight. Heck, even the athlete who were/are married to famous women don't seem to be in the limelight as much as David.
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Postby Mirage » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:16 pm

The American soccer fans don't seem to understand that Beckham is injured, he can't play... He will get better, and when he does I think soccer will get more popular but he does need to be playing week in week out. I think he'll really improve LA Galaxy, but soccer on the whole no. America is too big and clubs are definitely too far apart.
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Postby tracylynn » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:22 am

Fans know that he's injured but the whole point is that he alone is not going to increase the sport's popularity. He may think he can do it but he can't. There's so much that the MLS and Beckham seem to be overlooking when it comes to the public and their taste.
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:15 pm

Becks haven`t say that he will make Football as big as the bascketball or American football!! he said that he`ll try to make it more popular than it`s now. he said that the kids in the US play football (Soccer) in school and they love it, but when they grow up, they try to go to another sport, `cause soccer players have no future in America. so, he wants to change that and let the kids continue play football in their future!

podolski4life wrote:Not to mention Beckham's out for about 6 weeks with a leg injury. Which is pretty much a season-ender for him, seeing as the Galaxy's last game is October 21. They should demand some of their money back.


They already have! by selling his T-shirts, TV rights.. and season tickets :!:
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Postby tracylynn » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:25 pm

Miss Dangerous...!! wrote:Becks haven`t say that he will make Football as big as the bascketball or American football!! he said that he`ll try to make it more popular than it`s now. he said that the kids in the US play football (Soccer) in school and they love it, but when they grow up, they try to go to another sport, `cause soccer players have no future in America. so, he wants to change that and let the kids continue play football in their future!

podolski4life wrote:Not to mention Beckham's out for about 6 weeks with a leg injury. Which is pretty much a season-ender for him, seeing as the Galaxy's last game is October 21. They should demand some of their money back.


They already have! by selling his T-shirts, TV rights.. and season tickets :!:



He's not really going to make it more popular that what it is now. That is what everyone is saying. No matter what he does, it's not going to really change anything. If some more big names come over, who are young and not into their 30's, might help change things, but until then it's going to be the same. They should be at least proud that they do get higher ratings than hockey.

In 2009 they will be starting a woman's soccer league and that league, IMO, will have success, more than women's basketball, because most Americans associate soccer with women. Plus, Mia Hamm . Though she is reitred she is still very, very popular with the public. I think she would promote the league and people will respond to her.

BTW...are you saying that the LA Galaxy is giving back folks' money because he's not playing? I don't understand the comments about the shirts and such.
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Postby Miss Dangerous » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:16 pm

tracylynn wrote:...are you saying that the LA Galaxy is giving back folks' money because he's not playing? I don't understand the comments about the shirts and such.


I meant that LA Galaxy already have their money back!! from selling those stuff!! :o
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Postby Paddy » Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:52 pm

tracylynn wrote:
Miss Dangerous...!! wrote:Becks haven`t say that he will make Football as big as the bascketball or American football!! he said that he`ll try to make it more popular than it`s now. he said that the kids in the US play football (Soccer) in school and they love it, but when they grow up, they try to go to another sport, `cause soccer players have no future in America. so, he wants to change that and let the kids continue play football in their future!

podolski4life wrote:Not to mention Beckham's out for about 6 weeks with a leg injury. Which is pretty much a season-ender for him, seeing as the Galaxy's last game is October 21. They should demand some of their money back.


They already have! by selling his T-shirts, TV rights.. and season tickets :!:



He's not really going to make it more popular that what it is now. That is what everyone is saying. No matter what he does, it's not going to really change anything. If some more big names come over, who are young and not into their 30's, might help change things, but until then it's going to be the same. They should be at least proud that they do get higher ratings than hockey.

In 2009 they will be starting a woman's soccer league and that league, IMO, will have success, more than women's basketball, because most Americans associate soccer with women. Plus, Mia Hamm . Though she is reitred she is still very, very popular with the public. I think she would promote the league and people will respond to her.

BTW...are you saying that the LA Galaxy is giving back folks' money because he's not playing? I don't understand the comments about the shirts and such.


I don´t any of the big names in their 20´s will go in USA.
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