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Mid-Day Musings: On Beckham’s fan incident, Onyewu’s Milan debut and more

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We are three days removed from David Beckham's home season debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy, as well as the fan backlash that accompanied it, and it's still a bit mind-boggling that Beckham is really going to get away with his actions without so much as a slap on the wrist.

For those of you who missed it, Beckham approached Galaxy fans at halftime of the LA-AC Milan friendly on Sunday and clearly calls out a fan in the stands and invites him to come out of the stands. Beckham did so with anger on his face and little interest in actually having a chat with the fan. In fact, it isn't until after the fan is subdued by a gang of security guards that Beckham even puts the extended arm out (Has it ever taken more security guards to subdue someone wearing flip-flops? Just a thought). There was no, "Let him go guys", but more a "You fell for that one you clown" look on Beckham's face.

Now the fan is banned for life and Beckham didn't face so much as a disapproving sentence in the bland statement issued by Galaxy coach Bruce Arena about the incident. I suppose we should expect more from a club that still schedules its practices around Beckham's media appearances.

I was going to write about how Beckham should face punishment for his actions, but Ben Knight of Onward Soccer beat me to it, making a very good case for punishment for the Spice Boy. Let's be serious though, Beckham isn't going to be punished. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be.

Here are some more observations and notes on a laid-back soccer Wednesday:

Onyewu ready to give U.S. fans reason to celebrate

When Oguchi Onyewu takes the field for AC Milan tonight in its friendly against Club America, he will become the first second U.S. national team field player to suit up for one of the top clubs in one of Europe's top three leagues (Jonathan Spector being the first with Manchester United in 04/05). The symbolism won't be lost on U.S. fans who will finally have someone they can call their own among the world's elite.

Yes, Tim Howard paved the way during his tenure as a starting goalkeeper for Manchester United, but Onyewu's move to Milan signals something else. It shows an American player other than a goalkeeper playing with the world's best.

There is plenty of pressure on Onyewu, not only from the club that just signed him, but also from the fans who are counting on him to represent this country well and blaze a trail for American players to follow. Something tells me he's up to the challenge.

Long road back for Busch

Pop quiz: Who was the back-up goalkeeper to Kasey Keller in the U.S. national team's 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Easter of 2005? The answer? Jon Busch.

More than four years ago Busch was enjoying a stellar MLS career with the Columbus Crew and was starting to get national team looks. A torn knee ligament cost him most of the 2005 and 2006 MLS seasons before he spent 2007 as a back-up with the Chicago Fire. In 2008, Busch enjoyed a stellar comeback year, being named MLS goalkeeper of the year and earning his first national team call-up in almost four years last January.

Busch will be back on the U.S. squad for Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal and while he isn't likely to start, the fact that he's worked his way back onto the national team radar screen speaks volumes about the scrappy 33-year old.

Arnoux to go pro

A year after losing potential draftees Marcus Tracy and Mike Grella to Europe, MLS looks set to lose out on another top prospect.

Sources tell SBI that Wake Forest forward Cody Arnoux is preparing to bypass his final year of eligibility to pursue a professional career in Europe. An All-American who led Wake Forest in goals last season with 17, Arnoux is said to also be working on securing an Italian passport through family, which would make a move abroad easier. Everton has been mentioned as one of the clubs interested.

Arnoux has spent the summer playing for the PDL's Carolina Dynamo.


  1. I love American supporter groups, they give themselves tough-guy names like “Riot Squad” and suddenly they are proper-hard hooligans. None of them would last 5 minutes with real hooligans. Once again, American supporters come off looking like a joke, because that’s what they are.

    It’s the equivalent of building a fake New York City in Vegas, it’s not real. There’s no history. It’s some fabrication to give them instant cred. These are all Sports nerds and snobs.

  2. The LA Riot Squad have every right as paying supporters (not to mention longtime fans) to protest the actions of their club and players without fear of being banned or openly dismissed (both of which I understand has happened). The fan that came down onto the pitch was dumb, probably drunk, and probably deserves a ban(though, for a lifetime seems a bit harsh as he was INVITED to come down by Goldenballs). That the Galaxy board are upset with the LARS, I find shameful, as they seem to care a whole lot more about the club than the board or Goldenballs do. They need to be angry with Beckham, and the MLS needs to address what was clearly a provocation on his part.

    As a Red Bull supporter, fed up with being ignored over our own problems, I can feel solidarity with any fans upset with the “this is business only and supporters don’t matter” attitude of many clubs. These are our clubs, being at least partially funded by our cash, and which we take time out of our lives to support wholeheartedly. It sickens me that any club would take its core supporters for granted like that. It’s repugnant. Shame on them.

  3. If MLS is handing out lifetime bans they should look at banning the whole city of Columbus for being such an utter shithole and an embarassment to the league.

  4. And why are people still mad that Beckham was loaned out, through which LA made a lot of money??? Do you people ever watch soccer in Europe, where people are on loan constantly? How about Carlos Tevez? You don’t here people in England calling him “Rent Boy.” I love how everyone still hates him because our “savior” Landon Donovan made comments about him.

  5. Seriously, IVES?? As well as the rest of you, and the media?? I do think MLS fans and writers need to grow up. I’ve seen Baseball players, NFL players, Basketball players, and even Hockey players talking trash to fans in the middle of the game.

    Beckham called him out. OH NO! Beckham didn’t do anything physically to him. The guy who ran on the field is an IDIOT! I don’t get why people don’t see this. “OH Hey, there’s a player pointing at me on the field. I’ll go down and confront him.”

    Maybe Beckham shouldn’t have done it, but should he be fined or suspended? No. How would you feel if they were away fans that Beckham was getting on with? I think very different.

  6. The issue, for me, is not whether the punishment of Becks would be just (I believe it would, by the way), but the special treatment MLS’s biggest star is getting. I have a hard time believing if Alan Gordon had been the one agressively confronting the Riot Squad that no action would have been taken.

  7. I don’t understand why this fan is being tackled…he is clearly going to shake Beckscums hand. He was invited onto the field…the picture and posh boys words prove that…so he is banned for life for trying to shake a players hand. Beckscum was trying to jump over the boards after he eas tackled down look at the video. I booed Beckscum at the Redbull game and fairweathers were looking at me and the soccer moms were dumbfounded why? Well first of all I am at these games to root for the worst MLS team ever not the Galaxy…2nd where the hell are you when the bulls play anybody else..3rd name 3 players on the Galaxy..Becks, landon…….?

    GO Redbulls

  8. I personally wish there were more players like David Beckham in MLS. Guys that actually have the weight to push back against the league that seems to take pleasure in convoluted red-tape and rule systems. Guys who can create controversy and make people pay attention. “Seatte Sounders roster accused of gang-rape” just isn’t doing the trick.

  9. Riot Squad does not represent all LA fans. There is no turmoil. Because of his play, most of the fans were cheering Beckham by the end of the game. This site is turning into TMZ or something.

  10. “pffft get over it. If the MLS actually had noteworthy performances on the field then this would be a non-issue.

    Posted by: SG | July 22, 2009 at 04:01 PM ”

    SG, are you EVEN watching MLS? There were TWO VERY noteworthy games just this weekend. Seattle played very well against Chelsea but couldn’t finish and my Beloved Galaxy (take that Joey)(Who DO you like anyways?) played exeptionally well vs AC Fugly REd and Black…


  11. Seriously guys, do you think a league fine will make any sort of difference? Paying, what, $500? Nope. If you want to punish Beckham, like it so obviously seems for a lot of you, stick it to his pocketbook by not attending matches that he is playing, not buying merchandise he wears or advertises for (and letting the companies know why you’re doing it). But, most of the loud complaints are coming from people who will not back it up. Like I said, I’m no Beckham fan, but the bile being spouted is downright silly.

  12. “Has it ever taken more security guards to subdue someone wearing FLIP-FLOPS”

    well there are huge bursts of hooliganism cases in Brazil…


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