Bent Out of Shape
LA Galaxy star David Beckham is reportedly out for six weeks with a sprained knee, effectively ending his 2007 season. There's plenty of blame to go around for this injury. After all, Beckham played a full season of games for Real Madrid, winning the La Liga title. He then played several Euro 2008 qualifiers England, and sprained his ankle against Estonia.
He came to LA at less than 100-percent, joining the Galaxy just as they went through the most demanding part of their schedule. In the middle of a spate of games that included Super Liga matches and cross-country MLS contests, Beckham traveled to England for friendly against Germany at Wembley Stadium.
Jeff Carlisle of ESPNSoccernet called the Galaxy's handling of Beckham "downright negligent," while Galaxy president Alexi Lalas blasted the MLS schedule in an interview with Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports.
"We sure as hell are not going to put up with having another season like this," Lalas said
"We have bent over backwards to help everybody but the Galaxy," Lalas added. "A lot of people have made a tremendous amount of money on the back of what the Galaxy has brought to their markets this year and I hope that they remember that going forwards.
"Have we played well? No. But this ridiculous schedule that we have been saddled with in an effort to appease absolutely everybody, on and off the field, has taken its toll."
The Galaxy and David Beckham did have an extremely demanding schedule, but given the star power Beckham brought to the table and the uniqueness of the situation, it was justified. Unfortunately, Beckham got hurt against Estonia, and he just wasn't able to heal quickly enough to satisfy everyone. Injuries happen.
That said, Beckham has already had a dramatic impact on the Galaxy. According to the LA Times, soccer merchandise sales in the US have increased by 300% league-wide and by 700% for the Galaxy alone since Beckham arrived. And if there's any good that will come out of this injury, it's that Beckham will finally get the rest that his body sorely needs, allowing him to come back at full strength next year. The Galaxy signed Beckham to a five-year contract, so there's still plenty of time for him to create lasting soccer memories in LA.