July 02, 2010 - 06119772 date 02 07 2010 Copyright imago Hasenkopf Wimbledon 2010 Sports Tennis ITF Grand Slam Tournament David Beckham and be Son as Spectators on the Grandstand in Foreground Andy Murray Girlfriend Kim Sears and Mother Judy Tennis men All England Championships ATP Tour London Wimbledon Private Grandstand Spectators Vdig xub 2010 horizontal premiumd.

by Vlad Bouchouev

Three years ago the Los Angeles Galaxy were able to haul in the most marketable name in soccer. Three years later they’re sitting atop of the league table – no thanks to David Beckham.

In fact, it almost feels like many people have forgotten that Beckham is under contract for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Because of a serious Achilles tendon injury earlier this year, Beckham has missed the majority of the MLS season. It was maddening that Beckham's injury occurred during his loan spell with AC Milan -- apparently somewhere in his LA Galaxy contract existed a clause that allowed Beckham spend most of his time lollygagging overseas.

Beckham’s next adventure took him to South Africa. Though he couldn’t play due to injury, he still somehow managed to get on the English bench by working as a “mediator” between the English management and players. Beckham even kicked a ball around in South Africa despite still recovering from his Achilles tendon injury (any other team in Europe would have punished him for doing such a thing).

Now the World Cup is over and despite being injured, I expected him to return to LA immediately after the tournament and be some sort of mediator there; or, at the very least attend Galaxy match. But that didn’t happen and frankly not too many people in the US know (or even care) about his current whereabouts.

For those of us that are still curious, Becks has been doing a lot of non-soccer related stuff. No surprise. Understandably Beckham needed a little vacation time after the World Cup so he took some time off in Nice, France. After all, he did play 90 minutes of every match for England this past competition - oh wait, never mind. After the vacation, David had a moral obligation to cheer on his fellow countryman (in the UK sense of "countryman") Andy Murray at Wimbledon. Unfortunately Murray lost. Then came some serious work: interviews, interviews, interviews. As if we don’t know enough about the lad already. Now Beckham is planning on posing nude for a raunchy Armani ad and potentially spending some time with the West Ham organization. Who knows where he’ll be or what he’ll do next.

We can approach the whole David Beckham situation from a few different standpoints. One, the one I’m beginning to ascribe to, that the whole Beckham deal is a bit of a scam. Two, we can be nice and make the case that Beckham was unfortunately plagued with injuries and just was not able to get off the right note in the MLS. Or we can attempt to make the weak argument that Beckham revolutionized the MLS with his “big name”. Yes, Beckham did sell a lot of shirts. Yes, Beckham sold out stadiums (for a year or two at most). Yes, Beckham changed the way the MLS signs big time players. But has he reached his potential for all that he can bring to this league? I don’t think he has.

For the money that the MLS and AEG paid Beckham, one would think they would try to make the most of having such big name brand in their league. To that end, maximize the amount of time Beckham spends in the US and the amount of media attention he gets. Instead the two parties have been rather lenient in letting him “hang out” with the likes of AC Milan and the English National Team. Perhaps the MLS and AEG have already achieved their goals? Maybe they feel that Beckham has already done everything he possibly could to promote the game in the US and their marketing scheme has been a success. I don’t think that this is the case. Deep down, the league and Los Angeles probably feel like they have been genuinely screwed over.

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