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New England at Chicago Fire

Type: MLS Regular Season
Date: 4-7-07
Time: 8:30PM
TV: TV 38, MLSNet
Radio: WRKO- 680AM,

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New England 1 - Houston 1 (Houston 4-3PKs)

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Revolution Recap is a weekly review of the New England Revolution and Major League Soccer on Sundays from 7-8PM on WNRI 1380 during the MLS season, hosted by Sean Donahue. For more information visit

For the latest Revolution news visit Soccer New England.
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Beckham has immediate impact on MLS
David Beckham has yet to play a game for the Los Angeles Galaxy and likely will not until August, yet across Major League Soccer season ticket sales have been soaring thanks to the attention the former English National Team captain has brought to the league. Not only did the Galaxy report selling over 5,000 season tickets in the four days following the announcement, but the same period also saw expansion side Toronto FC sell over 2,600. FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamo, and DC United all also reported significant increases in sales. Though the New England Revolution would not give specific numbers, General Manager Craig Tornberg told the Sports Journal that “the phones rang off the hook literally when the announcement was made. It is more moderate, but the bump is almost like it has pushed ticket sales to the point where they are selling like it is three or four weeks before the season rather than twelve or fourteen weeks before the season. It really has moved the bar up quite a bit on the interest level in league and on the Revolution. There is no question we are going to do more tickets overall just because of the signing of David Beckham and the recognition of a lot of other things that are taking place within the league such as our new players and Dempsey’s transfer. There is just a lot of attention towards the league and in particular for the Revolution as well.”

Tornberg recognizes that the impact will not end there either. Revolution Head Coach Steve Nicol recently told the Boston Globe that he had been receiving calls from many players interested in the league since the signing. “There are probably two types of people that are calling right now,” Tornberg said. “One is those that see the $250 million and wonder if this league has those kind of deep pockets to be able to pay everyone that kind of money, maybe we just restructured ourselves, and that is not the case obviously. So those players will make an initial courtesy call, find out they don’t have the same value of $250 million and perhaps disappear. Then you have the other people who are over in Europe and South America who are recognizing this and say “wow, these guys are serious.” If the new stadiums, the new impact of the money that the league is designating towards youth development and reserve leagues, the Red Bulls investment of $110 million or DC United’s recent sale for $33 million did not show people that this league was serious, then they are now recognizing it is for real because a superstar like this has literally had a choice of many [English] Premiership clubs, several Spanish clubs, many offers from Asia and the middle east, and he chose Major League Soccer as the place he wanted to continue his career over the next five years. I think those are the people who are going to take this league very seriously now and say “wow, you know what, it might be trendy”. I think that is really what Beckham is. Beckham is always a little bit ahead of the curve and that is what happens. It would not surprise me if there are several players who are going to be interested to join up and be interested and be part of this now.”

The full impact of the signing on the future of US Soccer will not be seen for many years yet, but more interest in soccer from young athletes growing up will hopefully be a byproduct. Tornberg believes the signing will “make for some great trends of what we see here in this country with kids continuing into soccer” thanks to his superstar status. Certainly seeing the potential to make a salary more comparative to the other major pro sports in this country doesn’t hurt either.

But just when can New England fans hope to see Beckham at Gillette Stadium? “We were expecting the schedule [the week of January 7th],” the Revs GM said. “I was told over in Indianapolis that they delayed it a little because they wanted to really do diligence with the Beckham announcement. I am waiting for a first draft any second now. We will put it out I would guess within the next two weeks [January 21st-February 3rd].”
Sean Donahue
January 22, 2007 0 comments

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