I have been a career LA Galaxy fan for the whole of my Major League Soccer involvement. My wife and I started attending MLS fixtures about four years ago and we currently attend at least a dozen fixtures a year.
We live about 90 minutes from the Lamar Hunt Stadium in Columbus, Ohio and we always pick the fixtures based on who the Columbus Crew are playing.
My three daughters started playing soccer about 3 years ago and to my surprise also developed a strong interest in following the MLS season. Not surprisingly, they took a liking to the LA Galaxy with a fascination for David Beckham.
As a reward for their hard work on the pitch we decided to take them to an MLS match. I get the feeling they really want to be able to say that they’ve seen Beckham in the flesh. My mission to convert my family into Galaxy fans has come to fruition so this makes the LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew in Columbus an annual family trip.
The problem is Beckham never shows up in Columbus. In his first year, 2007, he was injured. He did play in 2008 but we didn’t start attending matches until 2009. Our first attempt at taking the kids to see David Beckham was in 2009.
It was Beckham’s 3rd year in MLS and the upcoming World Cup in South Africa was causing worldwide soccer hype. It was our first Crew vs Galaxy match and I remember my family being extremely excited about potentially seeing the world-famous Beckham.
The night before our family trip to Columbus I decided to get on-line to get directions and check on some European results. Like a brick in the face I stumbled across an article informing me that Beckham had an ankle injury and that he would not be traveling to Columbus.
Let me mention that he played the match before and the match after the Columbus miss. The match was on Sept. 26th 2009 and the Galaxy lost 2 to nil.
As for my kids disappointment, all I heard was a sigh, a plea for popcorn, and a cheer for Landon Donovan. Got to love how resilient kids can be after bad news.
I remember telling them that they would see Becks next year. That was a mistake. The 2010 fixture between the Crew and the Galaxy was much more transparent.
We all kind of knew with the World Cup that there was a good chance that David wasn’t going to be in Columbus. Beckham was on loan with AC Milan in an attempt to make the English national team which would result in him missing the fixture we were attending.
My kids didn’t want him to make the England squad and I couldn’t blame them for being selfish after last years disappointment. In early March 2010, a few months before the World Cup, Beckham ruptured his Achilles tendon and would miss most of the 2010 season.
On May 29th, 2010 the LA Galaxy came to Columbus without Beckham and Donovan as Landon was away with the US National Team.
Essentially, to our kids, there were no stars in the Galaxy that night. We did get to see two potential stars as Tristan Bowen and Michael Stephens both scored in a 2-0 defeat of Columbus. Again I told my kids that next year they would get to see the Galaxy’s number 23.
2011 saw David Beckham having his best season since arriving in 2007. 2011 would also mark the final year of his contract and his possible retirement. There was talk of him signing with a European team considering shirt sales would make the wage bill worth it.
We also had it in our heads that if Becks won the MLS Cup he would retire a Champion. Either way it went, this seemed to be the last year my family would get the chance to see the Icon.
The Crew vs Galaxy match was scheduled on Sept. 24th, 2011 during the Galaxy’s run at another Supporters Shield. I remember watching Beckham play in the match just before our Columbus trip.
He was on four yellow cards and one more meant he would miss the next match. My kids watched an entire MLS match just to see if he would get a yellow card.
When the final whistle blew my kids were filled with excitement and hopeful he would make the trip. With this being his final year under contract it was shaping up to be our final chance at seeing Beckham play.
Then, just like before, it happened again.
Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Back spasms was reason he would miss playing in the match. Not even an appearance on the bench. Not even a seat in the expensive Directors Box.
“Three years in a row, Beckham’s a NO show” is the chant my kids wanted to sing.
They did get to see Landon Dononvan and the LA Galaxy win 1-0 with a goal in the 90th minute.
But I think my kids are tired of telling their friends that they are going to see the megastar and then having to explain why it never happens.
My oldest says Becks thinks that Columbus is to small-time and uses the injury excuse to rest.
My son just wants the Dip and Dots ice cream.
I just want David to show up.
One can guess how closely my family is following the January transfer window.
With Beckham winning the MLS Cup and out of contract one thing is for certain in my household, we all want him to sign for one more year.
Oh yea, and make the trip to Columbus.
This years match between LA and Columbus is August 15, 2012. I’m not sure what the future holds for David or Columbus but I do know my family and I will be there with or without the star.
My kids want to know if it’s a conspiracy or just dumb luck.
Does David Beckham have a complex about Columbus?
Why do you think he hasn’t shown up in three years?
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