Big Bucks For Beckham

England's David Beckham celebrates after scoring the lone goal during the Round of 16 World Cup soccer match between England and Ecuador at the World Cup Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium in Stuttgart, Germany, Sunday, June 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) AP Photo/Matt Dunham

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Quick: Name the team that won Major League Soccer's championship last year. Can't do it? OK — how about naming the team that won the championship any time in the league's 10 years. Can't do that either? All right, then name the MLS most valuable player last season. No luck? Then try this: Name me one Major League Soccer player. Can't do that one, either?

All that changed Thursday when the Los Angeles Galaxy signed David Beckham to a $250 million, five-year contract. Now $250 million is a lot more than any U.S. athlete gets paid, but the way MLS can justify the investment is that suddenly you and everyone else know at least one player in the league.

Beckham is 31 and may be past his prime. But the way MLS officials figure, even a slightly used "world's most famous soccer player" is worth more than what they had before.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
  • John Kreiser

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