SEATTLE -- Still dubious
You'd be naïve to think that late interest wasn't due to Goldenballs' first MLS Cup appearance. His questionable health status hasn't diminished interest, either. The Galaxy's biggest star is suffering from a bone bruise in his right ankle, and walked out of Saturday's final training session gingerly with a massive ice pack taped to his foot.
But Becks says he's going to play no matter what. And given his somewhat psycho warrior mentality for getting on the field at all costs, there's every reason to believe him. He was walking just fine when I randomly crossed paths with him about an hour later before a late team lunch at the Galaxy's hotel.
If you're looking for a sense of urgency for this match, however, it's entirely possible this could be the final time Beckham and
The question is how much said club would have to offer MLS and the Galaxy to poach their most marketable homegrown star. Donovan is under contract through 2011 and league officials repeatedly have said they are not eager to sell him. Any transfer bid likely would have to be mighty -- more than the record $10 million Spain's Villarreal paid for
But make no mistake, if the right club shows interest in Donovan (Germany, no; Spain, yes), he and the league have to find a way to make it happen.
Here are some other news and notes ahead of Sunday's big game:
"It's all instinct," he says. "[Keepers are] not supposed to save them, but I go in there thinking that I can."
Donovan, meanwhile, is the third-most prolific penalty-kick taker in the history of MLS with 20 goals in 22 attempts. Guess who was the last goalie to stop one? Yup, Rimando, who turned Donovan away in a regular-season game in '07. (Perhaps not coincidentally,
"He knows the pressure," he says. "It doesn't get to him." Then again, Rimando may be the only MLS keeper who isn't thrown off by Donovan's maddening
It's not so easy when it comes to Real Salt Lake, which saw 13 different players score during the regular season -- tied for second in the league at spreading out the goals. "Everybody plays offense, everybody plays defense," said RSL captain
Checketts stressed how rare it is to get the chance to play for a championship and reminded his MLS team that the Knicks made it back to the Finals only once since then, and still haven't won a title in 36 years. But how's this for added pressure? He warned the team: "Don't get this close and fail to grab it. I'm not going to tell you to go out there and give it your best effort. Win the Cup."