Thursday, August 16, 2007

Beckham is Beckham in First Start

David Beckham did what David Beckham does in his first start last night, leading the LA Galaxy to a 2-nil victory over DC United in the Superliga semifinals. He pinged the ball around the spotty Home Depot pitch (hat tip to duNord) with aplomb, he made the keeper look silly with a signature free-kick goal (YouTube) and he passed a perfectly-weighted ball to Landon Donovan to complete the scoring.

And none of this is surprising to those who know anything about David Beckham's soccer abilities, because this is what he's been doing since Alex Ferguson plucked him from the Brimsdown Rovers youth club when he was 14-years-old. And this is what he will do until he retires. He's not Pele. He's not Michael Jordan. He's not John from Cincinnati. He's David Beckham.

For those desperately needing someone to compare him to, think Major League Soccer's Carlos Valderrama, sitting in the middle of the field and orchestrating the offense with vision, touch and savvy. Or for old timers, think Cosmos playmaker Vladislav Bogicevic, employing superior game awareness, body control and attacking flair as a midfield general.

Becks was also lucky to avoid a straight red for his clumsy from-behind mugging of Jaime Moreno (channeling serial bad tackler and old friend Paul Scholes?), and survived a potentially career-ending high-studded attack from Ben Olsen's Beard. He gingerly limped off the field to big applause and now we'll all await the latest word from his Cranky Ankle. This is Beckham. A terrific, international soccer star playing out his final years in the United States and creating buzz and helping to grow the Beautiful Game. Enjoy it for what it is.

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