The following is in response to Dave Denholm's (ESPN 710 AM, Los Angeles) argument (heard September 16 on Around the League in 90 Minutes, on www.csrnusa.com) that the Galaxy have saved MLS by signing Beckham, and went on to attack other teams in the league for not following suit and signing some big name players. His tirade ruffled more than a few feathers, and his comments provoked a number of dissidents into firing back at him, calling his attack on the rest of the league unwarranted.
I don't think so.
Yes Denholm's arguments can be repetitive, and often tired and overused, but the ruckus he stirred up last Tuesday was damn good radio. Misguided and sad, but damn good radio.
And while his argument was ...well... argumentative, it was not without some merit. New England has been terrible in it's marketing efforts. They mainly concentrate on youth soccer programs and soccer moms. The only thing that saves them is the annual Brazil vs whoever match. If they would spend some money and advertise during the Red Sox or Patriots games.... they may get some results. While those markets are hard to tap into, they aren't even trying. They should at least advertise on the local sports networks. there are tons of SPORTS fans here that are interested in more than Baseball and Grid Iron Football. They have consistently failed to make this team appealing to the casual soccer fan, not to mention the hordes of Celtic fans (not to be confused with Celtics, with an 's') who crowded the stadium when they would play the Revs.
I also agree with his point about bringing in Beckham is what saved this league. It put MLS on the world map, but now the league needs to do something about it. Yeah we won SuperLiga, but in the global game that means nothing. With the amount of kids who play this sport every day, this sport should be bigger than baseball. But it isn't. It's time to bring the league into the same scale as the rest of the world. But who is going to step up and make the league better? It has to start with the ownership of the league. If we want to attract world class talent, we need to get rid of the salary cap, because anyone of quality is not going to play for peanuts. We also need to get rid of the plastic pitches, because anyone of quality will scoff at the idea of playing on artificial surfaces.
If I were working for New England, I would be talking to Ronaldo's (not Chrissy) agent RIGHT NOW. He is still worshiped as a god among the Brazilian population here. If New England signed him we'd have a full house every home game.
And then Denholm would have to find something else to bark about.