It Took Beckham to Fill Giants Stadium

David Beckham's first MLS start was against our own New York Red Bulls.

So...David Beckham retired yesterday.

You might've heard about it.

There's plenty to make of his influence on the sport here, but you don't need to go much further than the above highlights to really see the impact.

The MetroBulls drew, on average, 16,530 fans to Giants Stadium for games in the 2007 season, which doesn't exactly pack out the 80,242 seat stadium. But 60,000-ish fans made the trek to East Rutherford to see Beckham's first start for the LA Galaxy against the hometown team.

The MetroBulls' high attendance mark was their inaugural season, 1996, where they drew a little more than 23,000, but Beckham, the England and Manchester United star with the pop star wife who would go on to have his under-dressed likeness plastered a giant billboard in midtown, helped fill it.

The fans that did make the trip out, were treated to a night of no defense. The game ended 5-4, and it could've been more if the highlights above are any indication. Some familiar faces up there, too. Kyle Martino played for the Galaxy, along with Alan Gordon, who now plays further north in San Jose for the Earthquakes. Edson Buddle scored for LA. Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore were the pairing up top for the Red Bulls. I saw Dave van der Bergh, Carlos Mendes and Clint Mathis in there, too.

It's a nice stroll down memory lane, but if you take your eyes off the field and look into the stands, it's a sign, albeit a small one, of Beckham's immediate impact on the league.

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