HOBOKEN, N.J. – David Beckham changed the landscape of soccer in the United States.
He brought attention and fans to both the LA Galaxy and MLS as a whole and with his announcement that he is retiring from soccer, the Galaxy were left to reflect on Beckham’s impact.
“The way that this league has turned around in the last six years since he got here is black and white and it’s fair to say that it is 100 percent because of him,” said midfielder Mike Magee, who spoke to Beckham on Thursday to congratulate him on his retirement. “Obviously, the league has taken the necessary steps to grow it steadily, but he made it make a huge jump. I could tell difference easily from before he got here till now and it’s not even close.”
As for how the league has changed? Magee admits that Beckham provided a greater importance to MLS.
“I played in MLS before he got there and it was always a struggle,” Magee added. “The league kind of lacked importance at times with fans and from when he got here, it completely changed around. People started caring and people started showing up at the games, our contracts got a little bigger, it was a lot to do with him.”
Even LA captain Robbie Keane admits that without Beckham’s convincing, he might not be playing for the Galaxy.
“He was the one that kind of brought me here, well, between himself, Tim Leiweke and, obviously, Bruce. But he was the one that kind of got the ball rolling when he went to train with Tottenham,” said Keane. “It was kind of up to him, why I am here.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has compiled this video of LA Galaxy players reacting to David Beckham's retirement.
Watch the video below...
Omar Gonzalez will be joining the U.S. National Team for their upcoming training camp in Cleveland in preparation for their five-game stretch in May and June that includes three World Cup Qualifiers as well as a pair of friendlies against Belgium and Germany.
As the club prepares for Sunday's match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, LA head coach Bruce Arena spoke about Gonzalez's latest call to the U.S. side.
"Omar is a good young player. He continues improve and we're hopeful that he continues to move forward," Arena told reporters. "I'm happy that he's part of that roster and hopefully, he can contribute."
The complete roster is below...
GOALKEEPERS (6): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton/England), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/Denmark), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/Germany), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg/Germany)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Roma/Italy), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor/Turkey), Stuart Holden (Bolton/England), Jermaine Jones (Schalke/Germany), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium), Brek Shea (Stoke City/England), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/Germany), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) May 16, 2013
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Landon Donovan and David Beckham's relationship had its ebbs and flows over the years, but by the time that the Englishman departed the LA Galaxy, the pair had developed a proven track record of success together including two consecutive MLS Cup trophies.
Beckham announced his retirement from soccer on Thursday, ending his illustrious career, which included two MLS Cup victories with the Galaxy. As LA prepares for Sunday’s match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, Donovan discussed the retirement of his former teammate.
Donovan's comments are below...
(On David Beckham’s retirement….)
DONOVAN: "We’re not all that surprised, but he’s had arguably one of the best careers of any players. I think that he’s won championships in four different countries with four different teams which is pretty impressive. All the stuff that he’s meant and done for our league speaks for itself. We’re happy that he’s ready to move on to the next chapter in his life.”
(On any lasting memories of serving as a teammate of Beckham’s….)
DONOVAN: “Some of the best memories for me are just seeing him interact with his children. He’d bring his kids into training a lot and for me; I enjoyed that part a lot because it humanized him. A lot of times, celebrities are put on a pedestal and someone with his fame is seen in one way, but he’s human and a father just like many people are and it was always nice to see him with his kids."
David Beckham retired on Thursday, ending one of the most distinguished careers in professional soccer.
Earlier this year, MLS complied all of his MLS goals...Which do you think is the best?
Also check out this video that the Galaxy produced last year.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena coached David Beckham from August of 2008 to the end of the 2012 seasons and developed plenty of wonderful memories as the pair helped lead the Galaxy back to prominence.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Arena discusses Beckham's retirement, his role in the growth of the Galaxy and MLS as well as his potential future as an owner in the league.
Arena's comments are below...
(On David Beckham’s retirement…)
ARENA: “I really don’t think that it’s a sad day; I think that it is a great day because we will now be able to celebrate such a fabulous career. David is such a great player, a great personality, a great friend, a great family man. We in the United States, in Major League Soccer and specifically the LA Galaxy were honored to have David here for seven years. He’s a person that we can’t replace on the field or off, he really has meant a lot to the professional game in the United States as he has for the game in so many countries. He had such a fabulous presence and we are so thrilled that he can finally have his day in the sun and we can all celebrate a terrific career.”
(On Beckham’s integration to MLS in 2007….)
ARENA: “Just to let you know, I didn’t work for the Galaxy until 2008, David had already been with the Galaxy for about a year and a half. At the time, obviously, everyone said what a great person that he was, a good teammate, however, very frustrated because the LA Galaxy experienced very little success on the field. David is such a great competitor and he was questioning his move to the United States and we were fortunately able to turn it around, and all I’ll say is that it is a tribute to David’s presence on and off the field. My four years working with him is one of the great honors of my life. I found him to be a player with incredible skills on the field as we all know, one of the greatest passers that the game has ever seen. Just a great personality and incredible competitor, who did wonderful things for our club and our game.”
(On Beckham’s influence on soccer in the U.S)
ARENA: “In our market, he brought a lot of attention to our club, but as we traveled across the United States and the world, there was always sold out stadiums. We all know that he’s a global icon and a real terrific ambassador for the game. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.”
(On whether Arena can see David Beckham becoming an owner in MLS…)
ARENA: “I certainly can. Our league would be foolish not to have David Beckham back in it. I know that he’s going to be back in Los Angeles this summer, I look forward to seeing him and his family again and I look forward to him playing a permanent role in the growth of Major League Soccer. Hopefully that’s going to happen.”
David Beckham ended his illustrious career on Thursday as he announced his retirement from soccer.
The former LA Galaxy midfielder was the world's most iconic soccer player throughout his career which included successful stops at some of the world's biggest clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, and Paris St. Germain.
I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level. If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. I'm fortunate to have realised those dreams.
To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country. I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country. I'm honoured to represent England both on and off the pitch.
I wouldn't have achieved what I have done today without my family. I'm grateful for my parents' sacrifice, which made me realise my dreams. I owe everything to Victoria and the kids, who have given me the inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period. I also want to thank Simon Fuller and his team for their continued support.
I want to thank all my team-mates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed.
Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I'm starting a new adventure and I'm genuinely excited about what lies ahead. I'm fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel it's my time to give back.
What are your thoughts on Beckham's retirement?
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CHESTER, Pa. – Robbie Keane made his presence felt on Wednesday after missing the LA Galaxy’s last three matches with an ankle injury. Keane tallied a goal and an assist as he helped power LA to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
There was no doubt that Keane’s presence settled the Galaxy attack as his veteran leadership and attacking quality spurred LA on to three unanswered goals in the second half of Wednesday’s match.
“It’s nice to be back and get a good win so I’m delighted,” said Keane. “It was a good performance by everyone. We said that it was important that we bounced back after a couple of disappointing results. First half we played okay, probably could have been better, but in the second half, that’s how we know that we can play and we should be playing [with the] counter attack and causing havoc for their defenders.”
Keane was bullish that if LA can maintain that aggressive counter attacking style of play then the Galaxy can compete with any team. And with a match at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls, Keane is eager for a repeat performance.
“When we play against teams the way that we play then we can cause problems for anybody,” said Keane. “It’s always good when you go away from home and get a good result with a convincing performance like we did. It breathes confidence into the guys.”
CHESTER, Pa. –The LA Galaxy learned on Wednesday that they’ll travel to North Carolina for a second straight year as they open their U.S. Open Cup campaign in the third round of the tournament. The fact that the Galaxy must travel across the country midweek did not sit well with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena
Arena addressed LA’s Open Cup draw, which will see the Galaxy face either the PDL’s Carolina Dynamo or NASL side Carolina Railhawks on May 29, following the Galaxy’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union.
“Ridiculous. What more can I say? You have the premier club in the country and we’re being shuffled off like that again. They’re basically saying, they’re telling us that the Open Cup is not important when they do things like that. It’s really ridiculous, but it's life. What are going to do?,” Arena said. “They’ve got to figure out how to get it regionalized. Trips across the country midweek after a Sunday night game don’t work. It doesn’t make any sense. It really doesn’t in my opinion and I know that someone has to do it, but it is odd that we’re doing it every year. It’s stupid. If they want the U.S. Open Cup to mean more, the premier clubs in the country can’t be shuffled around like that like we’re an amateur team, but that’s life.”
The Open Cup match will be sandwiched between LA’s match against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26 at The Home Depot Center and their June 2 game against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
What are your thoughts on Arena’s comments?
Share your thoughts below.
CHESTER, Pa. – Landon Donovan earned one goal and two assists in his 200th regular season game with the LA Galaxy.
Only three other players have attained this mark as Donovan joins Cobi Jones (306 games), Kevin Hartman (243 games) and Mauricio Cienfuegos (206 games) as having played at least 200 games for LA. The LA Galaxy forward is already the club's all-time leading goal scorer in the regular season with 83 goals.
Donovan will certainly bypass Cienfuegos later this year, but will likely need another year in a Galaxy uniform to catch Hartman for second place.