Shout out to our Olympic athletes. I appreciate that they go out and dominate in the name of the United States. I am disappointed that the USA soccer team was unable to qualify for the Olympics, and I attribute that to our lack of fans. We live in a country dominated by NFL teams and NCAA allegiances. Soccer is the only real holdout sport that the USA has never taken an interest in. For a while, it made sense that the USA would stay self-interested in its own games while the rest of the world played soccer. This country was too absorbed in its greatness (and make no mistake, it was great) to consider participating. We would not be dominant in the sport, and the people had no incentive to mar their ego by having something in common with third world people. Times are changing.
David Beckham came to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 under the expressed desire that he increase the popularity of the sport. It has worked: more and more teams are joining the MLS roster, adding 8 to the existing 11 since 2005. He found a team that was rough and juvenile compared to the football clubs of western Europe. His name and reputation give him the credibility to make US players more committed to the game. They had to raise their competitive skill to match his.
Beckham also expressed that he will always return to England to play for the national team. Skip to 2012, and he gets the first snub: England rejected him for the Olympic team. Is this a portent of things to come? England’s most
hated beloved player is not getting any younger and will be 39 years old at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They made the first move with these Olympics- it will be easier and easier to leave him out as he gets older.
Sooner or later someone is going to make (or has made) the decision for Beckham to place his allegiance 100% with the USA. It will be a bittersweet day when it comes for Beckham, but it will be a godsend for US soccer. It would be a grand gesture if, before retirement, he played for the USA national team once.