Yes, you read that right.
Southern California’s own Landon Donovan, a Redlands native, is ranked three places higher than global superstar and part-time underwear model David Beckham on the just released Bloomberg Businessweek Power 100 list of the most powerful professional athletes in American sports.
Donovan checks in at No. 55, while his teammate Beckham is at No. 58.
Of the only other soccer players listed, incidentally, Hermosa Beach resident and U.S. Women’s National Team striker Abby Wambach checks in at No. 79, while “Dancing with Stars” contestant and national team goalkeeper Hope Solo is at No. 88.
The list, in case you’re wondering, is half based on athletic performance and 50 percent on intangibles such as name awareness, appeal and overall popularity.
So why did Donovan beat out Becks?
“While, as expected, David Beckham did very well with his off-field numbers largely due to his endorsement earnings, his on-field performance brought his overall score down,” said David Newman, vice president of analytics for Atlanta-based CSE, which conducted the study of more than 3,00 athletes. “Meanwhile London Donovan performed statistically better on-field while playing for the Galaxy, Everton and the U.S. national team during the 2011 Gold Cup. This ultimately pushed Donovan ahead of Beckham overall.”
Put another way: Play better Beckham.
And last year was statistically the best of his five years in MLS.
See the entire Power 100 here.