David Beckham is less an athlete than a cult of personality. With a reported $250 million-dollar contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Becks as the British tabloid media has dubbed him was supposed to popularize soccer in a country where games between seven-year-olds draw closer scrutiny than the professional league. His injury-plagued 2007 season was a disappointment, but a healthy Beckham will lead the Galaxy against the Colorado Rapids in the 2008 season opener tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (7887 East 60th Avenue in Commerce City). Tickets are $12 to $35; visit www.coloradorapids.com or call 303-405-1100 for information.
For their part, the Rapids are looking to rebound after a frustrating season in which they recorded just 35 points and missed the MLS playoffs. Led by captain and U.S. National Team member Pablo Mastroeni, the Rapids have made several off-season acquisitions to improve their squad, chief among them a trade for midfielder Christian Gomez, the 2006 MLS MVP.
Still, there's little doubt as to the main attraction when the two teams take the field. While it seems unlikely that Beckham can single-handedly elevate the MLS to Premier League status, his famous footwork and ball-bending ability should, at the very least, provide more kicks than your daughter's team.
Sat., March 29, 7:30 p.m., 2008
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