Well...it happened and you couldn't have scripted it better. (Sorry, lazy writing.)
On his first freekick in a dangerous spot David Beckham showed why he's worth all the hype. Ok, it wasn't great reaction from DC United keeper Troy Perkins, but still. Beckham curled it into the corner like we've seen so many times. And he almost did it again early in the second half, but Perkins accounted for himself well with a full-extension save.
Call me crazy or a nerd or a loser or a total loser, but I actually got chills. At least moreso than any of Barry Bonds' historic home runs this summer.
Sometimes there are still special moments in sports in spite of gambling scandals and dogfighting and making it rain.
A SuperLiga match -- something only hardcore soccer smart marks even know exists -- isn't exactly the grand stage, but it's a stage nonetheless. It's a shame, too, that this game was only available on Spanish language Telemundo and streaming on the Internet.
At least the dopes at ESPN can package the highlight properly (crossing fingers no digitally inserted flames after the ball) -- it's not Becks sitting on the bench and changing his cleats after all. After cramming the dainty Englishman into our television sets, the Worldwide Leader finally have something to show for it, something that can capture American's imagination about the game we all love.
But tonight's not the time to worry about the media butchering Beckham's arrival, aka his 'Tour of North American benches'. (Guys get hurt in every sport.)
No, it's about that tonight. It's about Beckham and showing he still has some magic and mileage left in his celebrated right foot...at least in dead ball situations.
It's about shutting misinformed people like Michael Wilbon up for a second. (Dropping a Johann Cryuff doesn't give you cred, sorry.)
The electricity created from Beckham's 27th minute goal left the Home Depot Center buzzing and shows that when healthy he can deliver the goods. Perhaps if he can curl in a few more kicks he might convert the unwashed heathens of North America.
Finally, it appears, after a month of insufferable hype, his alleged ability to save MLS and constant status reports about his ankle we can finally put everything else aside and judge David Beckham for the (at times) wonderful player he still is. He may be a special attraction and he may sell boatloads of tickets, but he shouldn't solely be considered a sideshow geek -- he's a footballer.
What a nice ball to set up Landon Donovan's goal to make it 2-0, making Josh Gros and his rugby helmet look dumber than usual. A goal, an assist and a yellow card. All and all a fine night's work. (Let's get the boy out of here before he hurts that ankle again and get him into a cameo on Entourage.)
Overall this has been a pretty scrappy match and the Galaxy are actually showing potential of being a respectable side.
Not to be a total MLS apologist, but the two SuperLiga semifinal matches were infinitely more entertaining, than say, Saturday's West Ham/Man City game. I'm not talking quality, just entertainment value. (And if you haven't seen Joseph Ngwenya's PK miss, well, it's worth the wait in these highlights 5:00. Was he havin' a laugh?)
It's too bad Joe Cannon is about 18th on the USMNT depth chart, he could play for my team any day.
And if this isn't enough Beckham, we'll have some special MLS-related stuff coming this weekend as I use my real job (ssh) to gain credentials to the Galaxy game in New York on Saturday. (Ssh.)