London, Apr. 19
Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is still in the running for the British Olympic soccer team after manager Stuart Pearce made his first cut from 191 names to 80.
The final roster will consist of 18 players, three of which can be over 23-years-old. Beckham will turn 37 next month and has long expressed a desire to play for his country in the 2012 London Olympics. There are just under 100 days until the Olympics begin.
There was some concern recently that Beckham’s 2012 season for our side could be playing him out of a spot on the British roster. Beckham, who is anticipated to wear the captain’s armband for the British team, was said to have had a slow start with the Galaxy (I want to take issue with that). Beckham is apparently still dealing with back spasms which caused him to miss matches last season. In addition, even when he provided good service during the Galaxy’s poor start to the season, our side didn’t finish the chances. Beckham scored his first goal of the season on a long-range shot in the Galaxy’s last match. He also leads the team with two assists this season. He’s had some off moments, but so has the entire team. But, to say he was in danger of playing his way off Team GB? That’s just silly.
Beckham has shown during his MLS career that he can still play at a high enough level to be included on the roster. Are there English players over the age of 23 who are in better form overall than Beckham? Sure, but you have to ask if they want to play and if their club teams will allow them the time away during preseason tours to play in the Olympics. The ticket angle for including Beckham is obvious, although the host nation shouldn’t have attendance problems.
Our side already anticipated Beckham missing some matches while playing in the Olympics when they re-signed him before the season. The rough start to the 2012 campaign just means that the Galaxy will miss him a little more this summer.