David Beckham, Don Garber

Wherein MLS expansion becomes the new David Beckham transfer rumor


With his retirement, David Beckham transfer rumors are no more, but when one easy source of comment thread discussion and web site hits slips through editors’ fingers, expect another to immerge. David Beckham’s not going away.

Let me give you an example. Here’s a report today from the BBC, a very credible source. The headline, “David Beckham in talks with MLS to purchase franchise,” isn’t anything new. We heard about this throughout last year’s MLS Cup, when Beckham’s impending departure from Major League Soccer spurred conversation about an expansion team (or even buying into the then-for sale Galaxy owners, AEG). As the league office explained at the time, when Beckham elected to exercise his option on a team, the league would engage him on his future team. The only restriction the league would confirm: The option did not apply to the second New York franchise.

But again, all of that is old news. Unfortunately, there isn’t any new ground covered in today’s report. It reuses some past comments, talks about the expansion option, and says the fee should be a discounted $25 million. It does not, however, say that talks are either ongoing or approaching an agreement. And although publishing the story shortly after Beckham’s retirement implies there’s a link between the end of his playing days and Beckham’s impending ownership, the story doesn’t support that assumption.

From the piece, MLS Executive Vice President of Communications Dan Courtemache is quoted: “There have been preliminary discussions with his advisors.” That might be enough to get Beckham’s name in a headline, but it’s not enough to move this story forward.

Expect more of this in the future. Beckham news is still in too much demand to let his name fade away. Where MLS ownership details are set to become the new Beckham transfer rumor, expect news of the icon to stay on your radar. Whether you like it or not.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)