On Sunday, October 18, the Los Angeles Galaxy make their annual trip to the Bayou City to take on the Dynamo. Finally joining the traveling circus that is the Galaxy is English International David Beckham.
Beckham is a world-wide icon; he is to soccer what Michael Jordan was to basketball. He's known for many things: his right-footed crosses into the penalty box, his marriage to Posh Spice, and his many endorsements.
The former captain of England's national team has accomplished plenty on soccer's club level. He's won multiple Premier League titles with Manchester United, and a Spanish La Liga championship with Real Madrid. However, Beckham has yet to bring that success to the Galaxy; he failed in his first two seasons to qualify the Galaxy to the MLS Cup Playoffs.
The 2009 season has seen the Galaxy's fortunes rise, and when Beckham steps into Robertson Stadium for the first time at 2 p.m. on Sunday, he'll be battling the Dynamo for first place in the Western Conference with one game left on the season.
For all the hoopla and much-ado about how great Beckham is, it can be easy to get under his skin. A frustrated Beckham is one that doesn't produce great crosses and hurts his team more often than helps them. With first place and home-field advantage on the line for the Dynamo, Beckham needs to be heckled as much as possible.
To help, Hair Balls has compiled a list of 10 moments that are "blemishes" in Beckham's career and personal life.
1. Beckham's first MLS red card: earlier this season on August 15, the Galaxy entertained Seattle Sounders FC at the Home Depot Center in LA. In the 17th minute of the match, David Beckham slid into a studs-up challenge on Sounders midfielder Peter Vagenas, earning a red card from the official. To make matter worse, Vagenas was a former teammate of Becks his first two seasons in LA. I guess Becks is too important to remember the little people.
2. Beckham's third tattoo: In an attempt to look like a tough guy, Becks tatted up his arms like sleeves. His third tattoo was a no-no that everybody knows. In 2000, after his marriage to Posh, Becks decided to get her name (Victoria) in Hindi on his left arm. You never tattoo your chick's name on yourself. Although they are still together (for the moment), that tattoo would be a bad omen, especially for Man U fans.
3. Beckham the babysitter: Around the time when Becks got the Posh tat, his relationship with Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson began to fall apart. During the 2000 season, Beckham asked the club if he could miss training because he had to watch his son Brooklyn, and Posh was feeling under the weather. Against Ferguson's wishes, the club obliged Becks. Unfortunately, Posh was photographed that evening at a London Fashion Week event. Ferguson was pissed and fined Becks two weeks pay.
4. Beckham gets a boot to the face: Becks' marriage to Posh made him an instant celebrity. He began to make many commitments outside soccer, leaving him with less time to commit to Manchester United. That didn't sit well with Ferguson. In a 2003 defeat to Arsenal, an infuriated Ferguson threw or kicked a boot to Beckham's face. The boot caused a cut that required stitches.
5. Beckham has an affair (or two): After the 2003 season, Ferguson finally sold Becks to Real Madrid. While playing in Spain, British tabloids released stories that Becks had an affair with his personal trainer in 2004. Two weeks later, an Australian supermodel also came forward with claims that she too, had the Beckham experience. The news created tensions between him and Posh, although they would later reconcile.
6. Beckham shown the door at the 1998 World Cup: A classic showdown between bitter rivals Argentina and England ensued during the second round of the `98 FIFA World Cup in France. During the game Beckham was being heckled by Diego Simeone of Argentina. In overtime, Beckham kicked Simeone while he was on the ground. The official saw the act, and ejected Becks. The game would go into a penalty shootout that Argentina won. The British media blamed England's defeat on Beckham, and he would face years being tormented by English fans.
7. Beckham gives the finger: In the 2000 UEFA Euro Cup, England lost a match to Portugal 3-2. Even though Beckham assisted on both goals by England, the Hooligans taunted Becks. To show his love for his countrymen, Becks gave the fans the middle finger. It wouldn't be his last altercation with home fans.
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8. Beckham misses penalty shots: In the 2004 UEFA Euro Cup, Beckham lost two matches for England. In a 2-1 loss to France, Becks missed a penalty opportunity. Later in a rematch with Portugal, Becks missed a second penalty kick during the final shootout. Portugal would go on to win the game, eliminating England from Euro Cup.
9. Beckham intentionally fouls a player: After the 2004 disaster at the Euro Cup, England played Wales in a World Cup Qualifying match. Beckham was already carrying a yellow card, and was set to miss the next match when he received his next one. He received an injury during the match, and knew he wouldn't be available for England's next game. So he went ahead and picked up that next yellow card by intentionally fouling Ben Thatcher of Wales. What great sportsmanship.
10. LA fans boo Beckham: In an attempt to earn a spot on England's 2010 World Cup squad, Becks extended his temporary loan to AC Milan for the rest of Italian Serie A season, which meant he would miss the first half of this MLS season with the Galaxy. When Becks returned to Home Depot Center on July 19, he was expecting his American fans to throw a parade and pop champagne. He clearly doesn't understand American sports culture. Instead, the Galaxy supporters booed him and made signs like "Go Home Fraud." Beckham confronted a fan, and was fined $1,000 for the incident. Afterwards, he told the Los Angeles Times "They were saying things that really weren't very nice." No shit, Sherlock.
With an expected sell-out crown at Sunday's game, the last home game for the Dynamo before the playoffs, expect boos to rain down on MLS's royal princess.