Tuesday, April 24, 2012
GALAXY: Beckham no Olympic certainty
By Scott French
David Beckham has made no secret of his desire to play for a unified Great Britain side at this summer's London Olympics, which will take place in his hometown. Sounds like he'll have to earn the honor.
G.B. manager Stuart Pearce told BBC Sport that he plans to travel to the U.S. to see Beckham in action with the Galaxy before determining the three over-23 players for his 18-man roster.
“[I will choose] solely on merit,” Pearce said following Tuesday's Olympic draw at Wembley Stadium. “It's the only way any manager picks a squad or a team, and I will do exactly the same. I will know a bit more when I go to the States to see what form [Beckham] is in. He's made the shortlist, and he has been a great ambassador for this country and the Olympics, but that's no recommendation that he will get in the squad, and that's fair and square across the board for all players.”
Beckham, who turns 37 on May 2, played a role in London's campaign to stage the Olympics, which begin in late July. He is on a list of potential players that has been whittled to 80 names. Only those on England's roster for the June 8-July 1 European Championship won't be considered for the G.B. roster.
Legendary English striker Gary Lineker last week told BBC's Radio 5 live that there are better choices for the three over-age slots, but “if it is a 'thank you' for all the work that Beckham has done for the Olympics and getting it to London, then it is a different matter. I would pick my best three players if I was in charge. That is who I would want, but who knows? It might be a done deal.”
The Brits were drawn into Group A with Uruguay, expected to feature Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez among its three over-age players, and with Senegal and United Arab Emirates. The men's tournament opener is July 26, the day before the opening ceremonies.