Posted by: martinworster | October 13, 2007

81. LA GALAXY @ THE HOME DEPOT CENTRE

81. LA GALAXY @ THE HOME DEPOT CENTRE I go and watch them play and miss Beckhams first goal whilst purchasing lager…

So I succumbed to the hype and went to see Beckham play last night for LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Centre. I thought as he’s in town I might as well check him out. We arrived ten minutes late due to heavy traffic on the 405 (like the M25 but straight and six lanes each way). Just as I was queuing to get a beer I hear a gladatorial roar from the crowd – yes, it was Beckham’s first goal. Typical – I arrive late for the first game in which he actually starts and then I miss his goal. It was a trademark Beckham free kick like the one he scored for England against Greece – I got to see it later on the TV news repeats.

Half the crowd were wearing Beckham shirts so I guess part of his reason for being here was being recouped, although it would take a lot more sales than the 17,000 in attendance to dent the $250 million contract he signed. Whenever he got the ball the crowd let out a cheer and camera flashes sparkled around the stadium. He played the first half and ten minutes into the second. He also set up the second goal for Landon Donovan before retiring. LA Galaxy beat DC United 2-0.

I was quite impressed with the stadium. Bigger than I expected, in the non-descript LA suburb of Carson. I was less impressed with the standard of the ‘soccer’ – it was sub Sunday Pub league. Clunky ball control, little flair and pretty dull to watch, as would be expected in a tin pot league such as this. In footballing terms, it’s a disappointing whimper of an end to Beckhams career. I looked around at wondered how this compared to the moments he experienced at the Bernabéu Stadium or Manchester United’s Theatre of Dreams. It’s like going from playing Hamlet at the Old Vic to the performing as the rear half of a donkey at a panto in Hull. Except of course, you don’t get paid millions to do that. That’s what it’s all about – David’s gameplan is clearly fixed on a Hollywood film career and Posh is happy to do lame fly on the wall documentaries whilst hanging out with Tom and Katie. Plus they can shop till they drop. David can add another Bentley / Range Rover / Ferarri to his collection, with further little care for his mammoth sized carbon footprints as he flies around the US and world trying to play for England and the Galaxy.

It’s funny, I’ve seen Beckham play for both Man United (against Juventus in Turin for the Champions League) for Real Madrid (at the Bernabéu in a La Liga game) and now this. It really is a strange career trajectory.

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