New uniform beckons for Becks as brightest star bids adieu to the Galaxy


TV VIEW: Our Robbie was like an extra as the curtain fell on Beckham’s American odyssey

Well, someone wasn't reading the script, the announcement after the MLS Cup final of the winner of the Most Valuable Player award as startling a Hollywood ending as if, say, the Von Trapps had been buried by an avalanche as they skipped through the Alps.

"And the winner is: LA Galaxy's . . . Omar Gonzalez," ESPN's Max Bretos declared, possibly the first time all night we realised there was a player other than David Beckham on the pitch.

Werner Mersch, the snappily titled Region Director of Western Region at Volkswagen of America Inc, looked a bit surprised himself not to be handing the snazzy lump of glass over to David, but Omar is 6ft 5in, so if Werner was disappointed that he didn't get to associate his vehicles with Brand Beckham on the day that was in it, he hid it well.

Actually, it's not entirely accurate to say that our ESPN team focused solely on David. Indeed Taylor Twellman, the smiliest man to ever appear on TV - we're talking Colgate here - had stunned his colleague Adrian Healey before the game when he said: "With all due respect, we knew Beckham's end was coming - the bigger story is Landon Donovan."

Well, that wasn't in the script at all, it was akin to claiming the porter in Gone With the Wind stole the show from Rhett Butler, Taylor further bucking the trend by announcing that Houston Dynamo wingers Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis, and not David, were "the subject of my Continental Tyre analyst's corner".

Divil a mention, you'll note, of The Quiet Man, Robbie Keane, like he was just an extra in the show. At half-time, even with Houston a goal up, the conversation switched back to David, but that wasn't unreasonable, considering the guest in the studio.

"It is our honour to be joined by the Commissioner of Major League Soccer, Don Garber," said Max.

"Looking good Don!" Don beamed - "Thank you Max!" - before paying a warm tribute to David's contribution to the MLS, then expertly fielding a tricky question from Kasey Keller about a lack of focus on home-grown players, the suggestion being that foreign recruits might be hampering their progress.

Don could have replied: "Says the American who played in England, Spain and Germany", but he was way too polite for that. Back outside, Galaxy were rallying, our Robbie completing the comeback, his penalty making it 3-1. Home and hosed.

On-the-pitch reporter Monica Gonzalez tracked down Robbie . . . just kidding . . . David and asked him what "uniform" he'd be wearing next, but he, naturally, didn't want to discuss that just yet. "No idea, I'm proud to be wearing this uniform today," he said.

"It's a football team Becks, not the bleedin’ Marines,” Robbie, hovering in the background, didn't say, but only because he's probably caught on to the lingo by now.

So, Becks' American odyssey is over, and if he chooses green and white hoops as his next uniform, and not, say, the Shamrock Rovers or Sporting Lisbon variety, he could be lucky enough to work with Jim McGuinness at Celtic.

When he led Donegal to their All-Ireland triumph in September, you'd wonder if McGuinness had wacky dreams, along the lines of, say, him sitting in a chat show green room between Goodie Bill Oddie and Mr Motivator, the latter bedecked in figure-crushing flowery lycra.

Maybe not as surreal a notion, mind, as Donegal winning the 2012 All-Ireland when "we were ranked the 19th team in the country" as McGuinness put it. That crooning you hear? That'd be the Donegal hills still alive with the sound of celebratory music.

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