MLS: David Beckham’s American Dream Is Over, Where Does the MLS Go from Here?

When David Beckham agreed to leave Real Madrid for the Los Angeles Galaxy in January of 2007, the MLS hoped to bring a new level of excitement and awareness to soccer in the United States.Ever since its first season in 1996, attendance had been in a steady decline for two main reasons: The failure of the national team to inspire in a big way, and perhaps most significantly, the lack of truly world-renowned players on offer.Adjusting the salary cap rules by introducing the 'Beckham Rule' to enable the signing of international stars in 2007 gave Major League Soccer a chance to address this major issue. Teams now had money to throw at household football names and the L.A. Galaxy were first to step up to the plate.While Beckham was never the best player in the world, his marketability and sex appeal made him a perfect match for a league in desperate need of hype. All of a sudden, the L.A. Galaxy existed to international fans of the game.More importantly, the MLS existed worldwide.The league saw this as a major step forward, and it was. Six new franchises have entered the MLS since his arrival, and while he cannot take the lion's ...
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