Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 05:41 GMT 06:41 UK
Beckham backlash

By Phil Gordos

Beckham celebrates his 28th-minute strike
Beckham celebrates his goal for Galaxy on his first start for the club

David Beckham scored his first goal for LA Galaxy in Wednesday's SuperLiga semi-final win over DC United.

The strike, courtesy of a trademark free-kick on 28 minutes, will go some way to placating those supporters who had begun to question his commitment.

But the 32-year-old midfielder knows he has more convincing to do as he attempts to win over hearts and minds following his high-profile move to the United States.

Beckham's move to Major League Soccer has not gone to plan so far.

A persistent ankle injury had severely limited his involvement with the Galaxy prior to the win over DC United, leading to discontent amongst some fans.

A small section had even go so far as to register their frustration with provocative t-shirts and placards.

Keep supporting us, keep supporting me and the players, and keep on coming to see the games

David Beckham

One banner at a recent match bore the words "Welcome to America where people like you get paid to do nothing", leaving few in any doubt what the writer felt about Goldenballs.

True, the former Manchester United star is being paid millions to strut his stuff in Major League Soccer.

But then he is generating plenty of revenue and publicity for both the league and his club since agreeing to see out his career in the United States.

And that is part of the problem. After all the hype and numerous promotional appearances, people want to see Beckham out on the pitch doing what he does best, not stuck on the bench looking good for the cameras.


Recognising the growing frustration amongst Galaxy fans, Beckham took time out before the game with DC United to plead for their understanding and support.

"Just please be patient because there is nothing I can do injury-wise," he said.

"I can only let nature take its course and hopefully get as fit as I can as quick as possible.

"Keep supporting us, keep supporting me and the players, and keep on coming to see the games because at some point I will be playing every game."

Beckham has already come under fire from some fans in America
Michael Kirkpatrick leaves Beckham in no doubt what he thinks

His 63-minute performance against DC United is sure to help alleviate some of the disappointment felt by Galaxy followers.

Speaking before the match, Peter Bowes, the BBC's news correspondent in Los Angeles, made it clear that Beckham's popularity was starting to wane.

"As far as the Galaxy are concerned, if he does make it through even half of this game I think there will be a huge sigh of relief because the fans are indeed getting very impatient," he said.

"You get that sense today that he has to appear on that pitch at least to ease the fears of those fans who feel they've been led down the road by all the hype. They are getting very irritated."

But it is not solely Galaxy fans who have been upset with the hype surrounding Beckham.

MLS supporters in general have been growing increasingly frustrated.

The biggest problem in southern California is no-one is talking about Beckham and the Galaxy, and when they do it's pretty much scornful talk

Isaac Lowencron
LA sports reporter

When his move to the Galaxy was confirmed back in January, the MLS bigwigs immediately sought to capitalise on his popularity by selling tickets in blocks.

That meant if fans of Toronto FC or FC Dallas wanted to see Beckham in action they had to buy tickets for several games not just the one against the Galaxy.

When he subsequently failed to show because of his injured ankle some fans understandably felt hard done by.

There is every chance Galaxy supporters will soon forget any grievances they may have had with Beckham once he does eventually put his fitness problems behind him.

Last night's goal will certainly have helped, too.

Not all the banners make unhappy reading for Beckham
Not all the pitch-side banners make unhappy reading for Beckham

But it might not be easy for the MLS and the Galaxy to make up ground lost in the publicity stakes.

"A month ago they were the talk of the town during the relatively quiet mid-summer period," said Bowes.

"But now with all this uncertainty surrounding Beckham and competition from other sports as we move into the autumn, there is the sense that they have blown it in terms of capitalising on that surge of initial publicity."

Isaac Lowencron, a reporter with LA sports station KLAC-AM 570 Radio, agreed.

"The biggest problem in southern California is no-one is talking about Beckham and the Galaxy, and when they do it's pretty much scornful talk," he said.

I'd be surprised if they aren't talking about Beckham now.

Beckham scores in LA Galaxy win
16 Aug 07 |  Football
Beckham upbeat on England chance
14 Aug 07 |  Football
Beckham sits out LA Galaxy defeat
13 Aug 07 |  Football
Beckham makes Major League debut
10 Aug 07 |  Football
Beckham misses match in Toronto
06 Aug 07 |  Football
Beckham to miss FC Dallas fixture
30 Jul 07 |  Football
Beckham misses SuperLiga defeat
29 Jul 07 |  Football


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us