Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti believes that Wayne Rooney would not receive offers from the MLS due to his lack of ‘pop culture’ appeal.
But Canetti, speaking earlier this week, was adamant that Rooney would not receive any offers from the MLS, noting that he didn’t command the same commercial appeal as David Beckham.
“I don’t think anyone could deny that that was a game-changing moment for our league when Beckham came and it was a really smart move,” he said.
“David Beckham brought worldwide relevance to Major League Soccer. He was a trailblazer for other players to look to come over and he opened a lot of eyes.
“I’m not sure if Rooney is as big a brand – just because Beckham was so pop culture.
“There was a huge knock-on effect of having him here. There were definitely players who said ‘if David Beckham can do it, maybe it applies to me.’
“From a football perspective, there will be the hard-core fans that say ‘wow, Wayne Rooney‘. But with David Beckham, you don’t need to be a football fan to know who he is and what he represents.”
This is indeed the grim reality of the MLS: success is not reflected in results, pedigree or what players can offer on the pitch, but instead in how good they would look wearing a particular club’s shirt in an ice tea commercial, holding up a bottle of the stuff and smiling into the camera.
Can you imagine Rooney doing this? Just picture it now: there he is, adorned in a full kit with a contrived grin, sipping some of the stuff in front of a white canvas and saying to the camera, in his most scouse voice, “it’s great – try it now!” Imagine Rooney on a big electric Las Vegas billboard with a piece of sushi about to enter his mouth – this is, for some reason, a very disturbing prospect.
No, the MLS could never serve as an adequate resting place for Rooney. The Englishman has only ever expressed a raw love for the beautiful game; moving to a place strictly concerned with upholding a nightmarish commercial sphere would be simply wrong for both parties.