Sorry fans! I just read this week’s training report out of LA, and it looks like David Beckham's appearance at Buck Shaw stadium this weekend has been hexed again. It’s a long time since he’s played such a small, austere stadium - the two home games in which he played for LA were held at the Oakland Coliseum, and he missed the first game at Buck Shaw while he was still recovering from the torn Achilles tendon that kept him out of the 2010 World Cup. It would have been a great opportunity for the fans to see the soccer superstar at such close quarters.
|Photo: Robert Mora/LA Galaxy|
Love him, or loathe him, Beckham is undeniably more than a football star – he’s also a fashion and style icon who hobnobs with British royalty. Many British tabloids have made the most of Posh and Becks as social climbers, but remember that Wills is the president of the English Football Association, and he and Becks worked together as part of England’s unsuccessful bid for 2018 World Cup. As an England team player and captain, and with his involvement in the London 2012 Olympic Games, his readiness to represent his country has never been in doubt. Unsurprisingly, his patriotic endeavors have led to questions regarding his recent commitment to MLS when he attended William and Kate’s wedding, and fulfilled Olympic commitments in the middle of the soccer season. Working with or perhaps even playing for an Olympic soccer squad might be one of the few ambitions left in such a storied career: Beckham has played in FA Cup Finals, won League Championships in England and Spain and known the triumph of qualification and tragedy of the finals that is England World Cup football.
At the grand old age of 36 a veteran Beckham can look back on a career that has taken him to Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy. MLS fans all remember his loans to AC Milan, but not many people look back on his spell on loan to Preston North End with any frequency. In February 1995 manager Alex Ferguson sent the twenty year old on a month's loan to the England's fourth-tier team, where he scored two goals in just five games - one a free-kick set piece and the other direct from a corner. Although his time at Deepdale was short (unlike his shorts that were long - check out this picture from dailymail.co.uk) Beckham has claimed that the loan spell was a vital part of his development.
Flash forward to March 2011, and the loan system is still a great way for young players to get regular playing time that they may not otherwise get with the first eleven of their parent club. Quakes midfielder Simon Dawkins, who is currently on loan from Tottenham Hotspurs, is scoring at a similar pace to Beckham’s at Preston with four goals in nine games. Dawkins, who grew up just a dozen miles from Beckham, is a long term prospect with Spurs and has a contract that will run to June 2013. He made his debut for the Earthquakes in the season opener, a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, and scored his first goal on April 2 in the 2-2 tie with Seattle Sounders FC. Since then he’s shown an uncommon poise on the ball and an innate awareness of his teammates position resulting in some great give and go goals against Houston and DC United.
|Photo: Joe Nuxoll at Centerlinesoccer.com|
The royal newly-weds William and Kate will be visiting North America in early July, winding up in LA July 8-10 – I wonder if the irresistible draw of David Beckham will take their itinerary to the Galaxy versus Fire game at Home Depot Center on July 9. Their attendance at Buck Shaw the same evening is even less likely than David Beckham’s this weekend, but they would be more likely to see a goal by an English player if they came to watch Simon Dawkins play against the Philadelphia Union.