One more story on David Beckham’s impact to MLS … with a slightly different take

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CARSON, Calif. – An interesting piece in the Sporting News has a fairly new take on the Beckham experiment in MLS.

And that’s no small feat; by now, pretty much every slant has been sliced, diced and dissected. Not just this year, but last year, too. Remember, curiosity factor was high last at MLS Cup time year over Beckham’s plans after the 2011 title contest.

So the stories of Beckham’s mighty impact on MLS bounced high and hard off the usual soccer platforms. I’ve said before, the people who cannot see how Beckham drew in more general audience gaze, how he enhanced MLS general awareness beyond the niche market and increased the value of sponsorships and TV contracts, well, they simply don’t want to see it.

So, there’s that.

Meanwhile, the Sporting News’ Brian Straus makes the case that Beckham helped grow MLS and domestic soccer in one way that hasn’t been addressed as much.

This story says, essentially, that a certain animosity that Beckham fostered helped the league mature. More specifically, the league’s fan base lost a little of its innocence due the man.

It’s an interesting premise. Indeed, when Beckham arrived in 2007 there was much fawning and falling over in awe and such. The young ‘tweener screamer factor was high.

But something happened along the way as Beckham snubbed certain MLS events to go abroad and do … whatever. Then he lost more style points when Grant Wahl’s book came out, detailing a slightly less cheery side of the whole thing.

Then there were the boos at home, when his own fans said “enough,” calling the man on a perceived lack of commitment.

It wasn’t enough to just be David Beckham at that point; the fans wanted him to be more of The L.A. Galaxy’s David Beckham – if you know what I mean. Said Beckham:

I’ve played the villain quite a few times in my career. (But) I’ve never been booed by my own fans.”

(Check back in a while; we’ll have plenty of MLS Cup 2012 coverage)

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.