The world is abuzz with the news that soccer glamourpuss David Beckham is leaving Real Madrid for the LA Galaxy of MLS.
While this looks like a Big Deal for American professional soccer, one should keep in mind that at 31, Beckham's best days as a player are behind him. Certainly his performance in the World Cup suggested as much. We suspect that his celebrity status is the main attraction that he has for the LA club, and that LA is the major attraction for Beckham.
SWNID is old enough to remember the first advent of professional soccer in the USA in the 1970s. The immortal Pele played for a bit with an American team. He lent class to the whole operation, but he was old enough--much older than Beckham--that his contribution on the field was marginal.