Photo by ISIphotos.com
The above picture isn't of David Beckham at Pizza Hut Park, or staring at a pocket of Chivas USA fans during a playing of the Home Depot Clasico. The picture is of David Beckham telling his own team's fans to be quiet as they rained down boos on the world's most expensive rent-a-player.
Last week, Bruce Arena responded to questions about Beckham being booed by saying, "I'm pretty sure he's been booed before." While that may be true, it has been a long time, make that a really long time, since he was booed by fans wearing his team's shirt.
Perhaps that is what led Beckham to react so obviously to the heckles. His calling out of the Galaxy's fans, including one who took him up on the challenge of coming near the field, was lame, but not as lame as his claim that he just wanted to shake the fan's hand (that's right up there with 'I love my wife's music' and 'Rebecca's just a friend' in Beckham fib lore).
Criticism aimed at Galaxy fans for not backing their player is misguided because those fans, the ones who supported the team's before the first Beckham Galaxy jersey was ever sold, have ever right to feel used by Beckham. His back-and-forth and loan drama with AC Milan was enough, but now that he's let it be known that he plans to do the same thing again next year, Galaxy fans (as well as the media) have every right to question his loyalty.
Will the booing eventually fade as Beckham's crosses and free kicks find their targets, and the wins keep on coming for the Galaxy? Probably, but for right now, Beckham needs to accept that he's to blame for Galaxy fans being angry with him, and unlike road fans, his own fans deserve more than a "shhhh."
Bradley ready to stand pat
Count me among those who believed U.S. head coach Bob Bradley would call in some reinforcements for the U.S. national team's upcoming semifinal vs. Honduras. At least that was before hearing him speak following Saturday's match. Bradley made it clear that, aside from a replacement for Jimmy Conrad if he needs one (and it appears he does as Bradley has called in Michael Parkhurst), Bradley is unlikely to call in any of the extra seven players on the U.S. roster who are at his disposal.
Why? Bradley respects the value of loyalty and trust and calling in a handful of new players to the current group would essentially be saying he doesn't believe the current U.S. roster can finish the task of winning the United States a third straight Gold Cup.
That means players such as Jozy Altidore, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein are not going to be coming in for Thursday's showdown vs. Honduras.
So here's the question. What matters more, building confidence and belief in a group of young American players or winning another Gold Cup? Some might say the Gold Cup means more, but it should also be said that winning a Gold Cup with such a young team, and without so many key first-team players, would send a very strong message about the state of the U.S. national team pool, and Bob Bradley's belief in it.
Fredy Montero to Fulham? This report says it's possible, and that Sigi Schmid wouldn't stop it. The Sounders say they haven't received any offers (does an MLS team ever confirm offers, ever?). Truth is, I have a feeling the Sounders will be at the mercy of what Deportivo Cali wants. Montero is with the Sounders on a loan from Cali.
Speaking of the Sounders, Seattle Times' ace Jose Romero says that Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado will be two of Dom Kinnear's five all-star reserves for the MLS All-Star Game on June 29th vs. Everton in Utah.
Parkhurst isn't the only player being called in for the USA for Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal vs. Honduras. Chicago Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch joins Parkhurst as arrivals into camp this week.
What do you think of Beckham's antics on Sunday? Think he was justified to react the way he did? Feel Galaxy fans are right to boo Beckham? Will you be surprised if Bradley doesn't call in any reinforcements for Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal? Are you hoping the current group stays together and wins it all?
Share your thoughts below.