Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beckham and Ghana's U-20's

'Tomorrow in Los Angeles, the U.S. mainstream world is going to be introduced to the biggest soccer star to come to America since Pele in the 1970s when David Beckham is announced as a new member of the Galaxy in Major League Soccer.'

So says Orlando Sentinel journalist Brant Parsons concerning the move of football's most recognizable player to the United States.

This blog doesn't deal with American issues too often, but this story is huge and deals specifically with the burgeoning football market in the United States.

Beckham's move is huge and I've dealt with the issues and complications of it in previous posts.

What's intriguing to me as far as this blog goes is the mainstream coverage of soccer in the States.

You don't see anything about the sport most days. 'Copa America semifinals? What's that? Champions League? Who?'

But Beckham's arrival is front-page news. It could be the shove America needs to make football a mainstream sport as this article suggests.

Let's hope so. The article makes some valid points and is an interesting read.
The only thing we can do is wait and see. The American sporting public is quite fickle. Once they figure out Beckham is not a scoring machine, the backlash to 'that boring sport' could be brutal.

The first African representative to play in the Under-20 World Cup has crashed out. Gambia's 'Young Scorpions' were beaten by Austria 2-1 last night in Edmonton.

Substitute Erwin Hoffer scored the late match-winner to put the Europeans through to the quarter-finals.

Gambia's fortunes in its debut tournament took a blow when midfielder Tijan Jaiteh was sent off for a second yellow card in the 43rd minute.

Two minutes later, Austria scored when the free kick was headed in by Sebastian Proedl.

Austria will now go on to meet the United States, who beat Uruguay 2-1 in extra time to progress to the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic and Spain have also qualified for the quarter-finals.

Africa's hopes now lie with Zambia, Nigeria and Congo.

Zambia play Nigeria this afternoon while Congo meets Mexico tonight.

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