Measuring David Beckham's Offensive Impact against other Designated Players

Ric Tapia

David Beckham created the Designated Player rule in coming over to MLS from Real Madrid. How has he stacked up against the class of player he created?

Last time out we tried to see where David Beckham's career offensive impact with the LA Galaxy stacks up against other great midfielders and some of the best players MLS has ever featured. While other websites are content to just list Beckham's statistics, we're trying to give you the context to understand just how much of an impact Beckham had on the pitch.

As always, when I say we I really mean Patrick Johnston. His Match Impact Rating is what we use here at LAG Confidential to try and see just how much a player is contributing to the offensive attack. Today our goal is to see where David Beckham ranks among Designated Players.

It was Beckham's arrival in 2007 that led to the creation of the Designated Player or Beckham rule. The rule doubly affected the Galaxy because not only was the Beckham rule implemented but the Landon Donovan exception. Since then, 21 players have had multiple years as MLS Designated Players. Having multiple players near to the top of that group in points per match would show good investing.

The Galaxy certainly look like good investors as they have three players in the top 10. Robbie Keane as a DP has averaged .9 points per 90 to put him second on the list, while Landon Donovan is right behind him at .87. Think about that for a second, as Designated Players the two of them have managed a goal or an assist in 9 out of 10 of their appearances.

David Beckham also makes the top ten, clocking in right at the ten spot with a .65 points per 90 average. Beckham has certainly been an above average goal creator, but not a world beater. Juan Pablo Angel actually has a higher points per 90 average over his time as a D. Angel averaged .66 per 90 as a DP, but only .24 during his time with the Galaxy.

Kovermans .93
Keane .9
Donovan .87
Henry .86
Montero .77
Blanco .74
Saborio .7
Ferriera .7
Angel .66
Beckham .65

There's the full top ten. Danny Kovermans finished the season as Toronto's leading goal scorer despite a season ending injury, which shows just how much Toronto's plan for the season was Kovermans and then a giant question mark. He had 11 points this season and 9 the year before for 20 points in 26 appearances.

Beckham when he's been healthy has had great seasons, like this season's 16 points in 24 appearances, but his down years pull him down the same was Angel's time with the Galaxy and Chivas weight him down. His teammates Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan with 25 and 23 points respectively this year put his accomplishments in a bit of perspective.

These articles aren't an attempt to diminish Beckham's contributions to the Galaxy. If I had a time machine I wouldn't change a thing the Galaxy have done, it's Beckham raising the profile of the league and creating the DP rule that has gotten Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane over to MLS.

The intent has been to show just how good the Galaxy have had it over the last six years, and that the two principles for all that success are going to be here in LA for at least another year. Life after Beckham will be just fine, because the Galaxy have built an extremely solid foundation over the last six years.

All statistics courtesy of Patrick Johnston.

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