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.”