Reports out of England say that David Beckham has been named in Stuart Piece’s Team GB for the London Olympics. The full squad is scheduled to be announced next week, but by all accounts Beckham will be one of the three over 23-years-old in the GB team.
The 37-year-old Beckham has made no secret of his desire to represent his country in home town and there has been a huge amount of debate around who will be the three over-age players in Pearce’s squad. Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard have all been mentioned as potential candidates.
Beckham’s name has been a constant though, mainly due to the influential role he played in getting the Olympics to London in the first place. The 37-year-old’s popularity remains undimmed, even though he has not played his club football in England for nine years now.
He was greeted with rapturous applause at Wembley on Saturday when given a special award for reaching 100 caps by Uefa, and it is understood the former Manchester United midfielder remains among the players Pearce has submitted.
There is little doubt Beckham’s presence would help sell tickets for the football event, which features Great Britain’s group matches at Old Trafford, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium.
So while having Beckham in the squad is good new for Team GB, what does it mean for the LA Galaxy, who are already missing Robbie Keane who is playing at the European Championships with the Republic of Ireland? Depending on whether Ireland can get out of a group that contains Spain and Italy, Keane could be back for the Real Salt Lake game on June 20. The question is whether Keane can step right into the Galaxy side when he returns or whether he will need time to recover from the Euros.
As for Beckham, football the Olympics runs from July 26 to August 11. Add in a two week training camp for Team GB and Beckham could be gone from the Galaxy from around July 1o to mid-August, meaning he could miss up to nine games.
The Galaxy, who are bottom of the Western Conference have a major battle just to get back into the playoff race, Having Keane and Beckham miss major parts of the season due to international duty is not making Bruce Arena’s job any easier.