U.S. Men's National Team

Mid-Day Musings: Beckham's backlash, Gold Cup thoughts and more

David Beckham 12 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                          Photo by ISIphotos.com

The above picture isn't of David Beckham at Pizza Hut Park, or staring at a pocket of Chivas USA fans during a playing of the Home Depot Clasico. The picture is of David Beckham telling his own team's fans to be quiet as they rained down boos on the world's most expensive rent-a-player.

Last week, Bruce Arena responded to questions about Beckham being booed by saying, "I'm pretty sure he's been booed before." While that may be true, it has been a long time, make that a really long time, since he was booed by fans wearing his team's shirt.

Perhaps that is what led Beckham to react so obviously to the heckles. His calling out of the Galaxy's fans, including one who took him up on the challenge of coming near the field, was lame, but not as lame as his claim that he just wanted to shake the fan's hand (that's right up there with 'I love my wife's music' and  'Rebecca's just a friend' in Beckham fib lore).

Criticism aimed at Galaxy fans for not backing their player is misguided because those fans, the ones who supported the team's before the first Beckham Galaxy jersey was ever sold, have ever right to feel used by Beckham. His back-and-forth and loan drama with AC Milan was enough, but now that he's let it be known that he plans to do the same thing again next year, Galaxy fans (as well as the media) have every right to question his loyalty.

Will the booing eventually fade as Beckham's crosses and free kicks find their targets, and the wins keep on coming for the Galaxy? Probably, but for right now, Beckham needs to accept that he's to blame for Galaxy fans being angry with him, and unlike road fans, his own fans deserve more than a "shhhh."

Bradley ready to stand pat

Count me among those who believed U.S. head coach Bob Bradley would call in some reinforcements for the U.S. national team's upcoming semifinal vs. Honduras. At least that was before hearing him speak following Saturday's match. Bradley made it clear that, aside from a replacement for Jimmy Conrad if he needs one (and it appears he does as Bradley has called in Michael Parkhurst), Bradley is unlikely to call in any of the extra seven players on the U.S. roster who are at his disposal.

Why? Bradley respects the value of loyalty and trust and calling in a handful of new players to the current group would essentially be saying he doesn't believe the current U.S. roster can finish the task of winning the United States a third straight Gold Cup.

That means players such as Jozy Altidore, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein are not going to be coming in for Thursday's showdown vs. Honduras.

So here's the question. What matters more, building confidence and belief in a group of young American players or winning another Gold Cup? Some might say the Gold Cup means more, but it should also be said that winning a Gold Cup with such a young team, and without so many key first-team players, would send a very strong message about the state of the U.S. national team pool, and Bob Bradley's belief in it.

Set Pieces

Fredy Montero to Fulham? This report says it's possible, and that Sigi Schmid wouldn't stop it. The Sounders say they haven't received any offers (does an MLS team ever confirm offers, ever?). Truth is, I have a feeling the Sounders will be at the mercy of what Deportivo Cali wants. Montero is with the Sounders on a loan from Cali.

Speaking of the Sounders, Seattle Times' ace Jose Romero says that Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado will be two of Dom Kinnear's five all-star reserves for the MLS All-Star Game on June 29th vs. Everton in Utah.

Parkhurst isn't the only player being called in for the USA for Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal vs. Honduras. Chicago Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch joins Parkhurst as arrivals into camp this week.


What do you think of Beckham's antics on Sunday? Think he was justified to react the way he did? Feel Galaxy fans are right to boo Beckham? Will you be surprised if Bradley doesn't call in any reinforcements for Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal? Are you hoping the current group stays together and wins it all? 

Share your thoughts below.

  • jmadsen

    idea! let’s organize a nation-wide, Beckham Shirt-burning Night!

    bring marshmallows.


  • annen_berg

    Sounds of booing / reports of booing fade away in time. Pictures of Becks standing in front of the ‘Go Home Fraud’ banner are simply rich and a welcome intervention into the golden one’s media portfolio. Cheers to the riot squad. Can’t help but thinking about Beck’s ‘impossible is nothing’ adidas ad though. Next golden-dead-ball delivery for England, cue part 2.


  • dealer2

    Here we go with the whining about Beckham’s loyalty. Again…

    Ives, I respect your viewpoint, and perhaps this boofest at Home Depot can be justified if it’s a one-time event — I just don’t understand the energy behind it. The man could literally buy the league, is still the highest-profile player in the world, brings credibility to the Galaxy (admittedly when he’s in uniform) and you guys call him disloyal for missing a few games so he can maintain WC fitness? Really? No wait, seriously?

    It’s called perspective and I suggest the booing Galaxy fans find some before they lose the shred of attention the team receives.


  • silent e


    You asked why anyone would believe him. Well, many wouldn’t. But to face his detractors and present his side in a mature and respectful might sway many. More importantly it would show respect to the Galaxy just to make the attempt, respect that’s sorely needed considering his behavior which I had pointed out, respect that’s desperately desired by fans of the Galaxy, MLS, and US Soccer in general.

    Note that this is all predicated on the idea that his motives are as I mentioned when I said I was being charitable in my thinking. If, however, he cares not at all then screw it.


  • Green76

    Beckham looked good last night on the pitch. I had a fealing his effeorts were more to impress the Milan team than quiet the boo birds or help his team. Milan liked what they saw of Beckham on the pitch and what they heard from the crowd. Both of these helped to build the case for a return to Milan.

    In general I support all MLS players who want to play for their national teams or get called up to a higher quality team. I would support Beckham too if he didn’t disrespect the MLS and Donovan. Donavan steped up and admitted his mistake. I haven’t seen Beckham admit his own. What does that say about who is more professional?


  • Nate

    Yes, a nationwide jersey fire would be hilarious. Burn it like beckham. Too bad i never bought one.


  • madmax

    Beckham needs to understand that in LA he is a very expensive part time player, nothing more. The fans did not create this. It was conceived for money by MLS and his agents.


  • Joseph D'Hippolito

    “David Beckham as a bad guy can do more for MLS than Brand Beckham ever could.”

    HM, I disagree strongly. Unless the situation changes, and quickly, no business contemplating sponsorship w/the Galaxy or MLS will have anything to do with Beckham. How many endorsements do Terrell Owens, Ron Artest or Chad Ocho Cinco get? Of course, the NFL and NBA are established enough to survive their antics. That’s the point.

    If Beckham continues in this vein — challenging fans to fights, no matter how badly they behave — his marketing value will disintegrate. If MLS doesn’t discipline Beckham for his behavior, the league and its commissioner will look like tools who will sell themselves out for any farthing or bit of publicity they can get.


  • Jess

    Fabio Capello made it clear that Beckham needs to be playing at the highest level to get a spot on England’s WC roster. That being said anyone of you would give one of your nuts or a kidney to have that opportunity. Why are we fretting over this. Professional athletes go back on their words ALL THE TIME. Why would you expect Beckham to be different. Plus if it wasn’t for him, Milan would have mopped the floor with the Galaxy.


  • Tom P

    In the words of John Lennon

    “I’m so tired” of this whole Beckham thing.


  • Keith G.

    It is true, and as much as I dont like Beckham, he did what he had to do to have a chance of playing in the World Cup. The guy was told he is good enough to be on the team, but not fit enough due to playing in the MLS. I think that if he was told he had a spot even if he is playing with the Galaxy then we would not be having this problem. If Donovan was told hey, you play in Europe or your not on the roster, I think he would sign for Hull City, or any other lower table team just to play in the World Cup. So you really cant blame Beckham, blame Capello.

    When it comes to Montero, I would want to do everything I could to keep this guy. The MLS needs to start keeping its star players so that the league can grow to one of the top leagues in the world. This country has the money, sponsors, and all the potental to be one of the biggest leagues in the world, and in order to do that they need World class players. They need to get it where there is 5-6 players playing for their countrys on the rosters other then 1 or 2.

    Lastly with the Gold Cup I am upset to hear that I will not get to see Jozy, Guzan, and Feilhaber play live. I think that the US has what it takes to win it all, but it wont be as easy if we had the other players. GO USA!! I want to see you playing in NY.


  • DC Josh

    I hope the die-hard Galaxy fans voice their opinion, but after a while, his play on the field will send a hush through their sections. I would do the same as the Galaxy fans have done if he was on DC United’s squad, but does any player have ANY loyalty to the club they are currently on? It’s very hard to find one. There are players throughout the world who find a team and stick with them, but most move on when the opportunity presents itself.

    Beckham should have never confronted a fan. I’m assuming something was said about his family, but his reaction was stupid and very dangerous. He is the professional, and has heard worst in England after his red card against Argentina.

    People will hate him regardless of what he does. His snub of MLS has hit a nerve with a lot of people, but lets get on with it. Do we really think our league is on par with any of the top 5 leagues in Europe? Not even close…


  • DC Josh

    It’s going to be very interesting to see how the season pans out. The galaxy is in great form right now, and if they make it to the MLS Cup, it will be a fantastic story.


  • RLW2020

    i admire what BB is doing right now with the Gold Cup team. he has given a lot of trust to a group of young american players that I personally was not confident in. these players have really stepped up and are playing well. also let the players in europe win their spots. that said i think Jonathan Bornstein could really help fortify the back line where it is quite obvious jay heaps isnt a future sub. but please dont call back jozy or benny — they have bigger things to do and i would hate to see holden, ching, davvy, quaranta or rogers on the bench in this turny


  • gino

    After watching the video, there is no way the fan gets convicted for trespassing. Beckham invited him down on the field.


  • RandyinCA

    It’s annoying that Beckham keeps flip-flopping on what he’s going to do. Bryan, you have a good point. I don’t think that he’ll be a starter either, and Capello is just forcing Beckham to make bad decisions in his professional career. If he f**ks up in the MLS, where else is he going to go? Sweden?


  • Keith Brown

    The LA fan who jumped down to speak with Becks got a 10 year ban and Becks got nothing!!!

    He should be fined also IMHO.

    The fan should be let back next season


  • Scott A

    Did anyone else see Birchall go up to Ronaldinho and ask him if he wanted his jersey and Ronaldinho said no and pointed to another player? haha


  • Caldwell

    Is anyone else reminded by the talk of bringing in “reinforcements” for the semis and final of the softball episode of the Simpsons? The power plant workers make the Springfield softball final only to be replaced by Darryl Strawberry, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., et al. It was B.S. then too.


  • Jimmygreaves

    When the US team is at its best its usually because they have a very strong belief in each other,work for each other, run that extra mile for each other. So if I had to choose I would say its more important that this group understand what it means to play for other. Of course, no reason they can’t do this and win the Gold Cup. Mexico looked tough against Haiti, but Haiti looked demoralized when they went down and I don’t think the US is as easily demoralized.


  • Blokhin

    can we drop the hope of US getting seeded at the WC next year? it ain’t gonna happen… Mexico got seeded in 2006 because one of the teams that normally would be seeded was also the host of the tourney, thus killing two birds with one stone-Germany. The seeds in 2010 will be: South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, Argentina and either France, Netherlands or Portugal, depending on who makes it to the WC…

    therefore the Gold Cup is irelevant in terms of WC seeding. And we’re not going to be in a group with Brazil and Italy-both would be seeded for this tournament in separate groups…


  • madmax

    David should be thankful that he didn’t have the physical skills to climb a three foot barrier. I think Posh could knock him on his kiester.


  • seth

    Hey becks, get used to the boos. You make 6.5 mil a year from the galaxy and your team mates make 12k!!!! Why not spread the wealth. be professional. be a role model – regardless of whether or not you want to be.



  • Supsam

    hey guys, i got a great idea:

    for now on, we should put up signs everywhere Beckham plays that say things like:

    “#23, you need anger management”
    “Be a man #23: GROW UP!”
    “AHHhhh please dont yell and hurt us #23”


  • dantheblue

    scott… I was in the stadium watching Ronaldinho make his slow round the perimeter of the stadium… it took him 25 minutes as he shook hands and stopped to autograph occasionally. When he got to the tunnel area he had a young girl picked out. He called her over and tossed his jersey to her. He didn’t mean any disrespect to Birchall… He knew he was going to give it to the young lady…


  • Scott A

    Ohh nice. Classy move by Ronaldinho. I couldn’t tell exactly what he said to Birchall but I was amused by the thought of him getting shot down


  • howcheng

    An anonymous comment on the MLS Daily blog by someone who claims he was working as a security guard at the HDC and his eyewitness account of what happened is at http://bit.ly/17t5yX … backs up Beckham’s statement on the matter (if it’s true).


  • silent e

    dantheblue, I don’t think Scott was saying Ronaldinho was being a jerk. I saw the footage too and it is kind of funny. It’s rare to get that close up a shot of someone asking another player for a jersey exchange, and Birchall looks so sweet and earnest in his request and when Ronaldinho points somewhere obviously saying he’s already promised it to someone else Birchall is so quick to nod his head in understanding that it perhaps reminds some of us of asking a girl out who is way out of our league.

    Caldwell, so who is Monty Burns? Gulati has the position, but Bob Bradley has the looks.

    And which player will be the brown-nose who agrees to take the performance-enhancing tonic, encouraging the rest to do so as well saying, “it’s like there’s a party in my mouth and everyone’s invited”?


  • josh

    The funny part about Birchall meekly asking for the jersey is that he fouled Ronaldinho hard, like, 3 times in his short time on the pitch, and was mad-dogging him after one of them!


  • jmadsen

    a small thought just came to me – it wasn’t a bad choice to boo during an int’l friendly with a big club.

    think how many over-the-hill players we’ve had come over from Europe over the years, who didn’t give a rat’s behind and washed out immediately. (Say it with me now: “Lothar Matthaus”)

    not a bad way to say to future “retirees” that they are welcome to come, if they are coming to be serious about being here.

    AC Milan players will gossip as much as anyone.


  • VA Law

    Sigh…surprise, everyone…Beckham is kind of a tool. That’s right up there with Blanco not being particularly fair to opposing teams because he dives, or with Mexico fans and U.S. fans not being very friendly with one another. In other words, it kind of goes without saying.

    American soccer fans are a proud bunch. That pride in our fan-dom, earned over many years of disrespect from sports fans at home and abroad, dictates that we hold our American soccer representatives to an exacting standard. It galls me just as much as anyone when someone like Beckham (the self-proclaimed “face of the MLS”)is so blatantly two-faced. We would all appreciate someone who, given the tough choice between keeping his word by staying in MLS and going back to Europe so he can play in one more World Cup, made the choice to stay.

    What I’m wondering is this – can American soccer fans (of which I am one) afford to stand on principle this time? Should we risk alienating further (and perhaps destroying) the one person (or brand?) capable of pulling our beloved MLS the furthest into the limelight in the shortest amount of time?

    Beckham didn’t have to come here in the first place. He didn’t have to help fill the league’s coffers with gold. He didn’t have to set up youth soccer academies. He didn’t have to do all of those other things to spread his influence around.

    Did he benefit? Hell yes. But are we so willing to just write off our massive investment on a point of principle? Or would we be better served by grinning and bearing it until after next summer, and then encouraging Beckham to keep doing the great things he was doing for U.S. soccer before he went bat-sh*t crazy?

    Just a thought.


  • stephen

    I appreciate Bob Bradley’s thoughts on not bringing in the ringers … but can we at least bring in ONE MORE to replace Logan Pause? Do we really care about hurting the feelings of a player who had no chance of pulling on a US jersey until 2011?


  • UR

    I think it would be really ironic if Becks goes back to Milan and still gets left off the 2010 WC squad.


  • Sg

    Love him or Hate him…. Beckham makes the MLS relevant. There’s no way MLS gets this much main stream exposure without him and that’s FACT.


  • dantheblue

    VA Law, keen insights, thank you. I agree. I booed 23 hard the first part of the game but then I settled in and enjoyed what turned out to be a remarkable display of unique ability. 23 is as good at hitting a spot on the field from 45 yards with his heart pounding from exertion as I used to be hitting a fly on the wall with a rubberband when I was folding newspapers as a little boy sitting still and docile! From the upper decks I could see the play developing as Donovan galloped towards the open spot on the left while 23 was headed towards midfield. I knew that was a goal 3 seconds before Gordon knocked her in…

    I guess I’ll call off the “CUT HIM” cries…

    Thanks, VAlaw for ruining my negative attitude… :)


  • Rastafari

    – Stephen Hawking: “Asteroid Impacts Biggest Threat to Intelligent Life in the Galaxy…


  • inkedAG

    Beckham deserves every boo he gets from here on out.

    I think Bradley is making a shrewd move with his Gold Cup roster. Keep instilling confidence in the young bucks.


  • Dennis

    I love how everybody hates Beckham for trying to play for a better team in a better league. How many times has Landycakes tried the same thing? Only he’s not good enough to make it work. You don’t think he’d have done the same thing if he could have even beat out Pudolski this year? He’s a jerk and in love with himself since 2002 and he’s why Beckham’s being booed. At least Beckham showed emotion and brought more media to American soccer. This is the most soccer in the media and it’s not even a world cup year.

    Oh and let’s name our fan group “The Rioters.” Hmm…I wonder why there aren’t any NFL teams in LA?


  • Mason


    Even if Landon had “beat out” Podolski, there was no way he was going to be sold. It was always a loan, and nothing more. Altidore went for $10 million, and you’re kidding yourself if you think that LD, the face of American Soccer (don’t deny it), was going to go for less than that. Why would any club pay that kind of scratch for a non-project player when they can have him for free twelve months later?


  • Scott A

    Totally different situations Dennis. It was understood that Beckham was coming to MLS as part player part ambassador and was closing out his career here. As soon as he realized that he still had a chance at the next World Cup he immediately lost his commitment and decided to miss half of each season of his team. Landon, however, has given MLS lots of service as a young player and now as a veteran and is expected to move to a bigger league like every good player in every league in the world does. He isn’t speaking out of two faces, trying to get his people to nullify a contract, rescinding on commitments, or anything of the sort


  • Goalscorer24

    While David Beckman may tell us all it’s Sunshine, Puppies and Roses in LA, he tells the AC Milan website something slightly different: DAVID BECKHAM: “I hope to come back to Milan. They stayed in my heart and sincerely I am confident we can see each other again in November. The whistles of the American crowd? Incomprehensible.”

    I guess he can’t hack the boo’s after all.


  • giveitarest

    can’t hack the boos…. I believe he has been booed before. He has dealt with it fairly well. Better then most american sports stars.Because he is David Beckham everyone wants to have their say and make comments about him being unprofssional. so he gave the crowed a shhhhhh. No different then him taunting opponent fans… Give it a rest. Let the guy play for himself.Nobody plays forclub anymore NOBODY.


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