L.A. Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard waves to the fans as he is introduced during halftime against Toronto FC. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Steven Gerrard is making a great first impression on teammates, fans and staff.
The 35-year-old Englishman will naturally draw lots of comparisons with David Beckham, the Galaxy’s first Designated Player who helped the club win two MLS Cup titles and is also from England. So, it’s no surprise that some at StubHub Center on Saturday were comparing Gerrard to Beckham, even pointing out that Gerrard “is more approachable” than Beckham. They are not the only ones who feel this way, the paparazzi would agree.
That is not to say Beckham was not approachable, or nice. It probably means people were more in awestruck or intimidated by his star-power more than anything else. After all, Beckham was an almost mythological figure who everyone had heard or read about. It could also mean that the club learned from its mistakes with Beckham.
For his part, Gerrard is doing his best to fit in and is getting along great with his new teammates and fans. The Liverpool legend began training with Robbie Keane, Juninho and Co. last week. He also endeared himself to his new fan base by buying them beer, or as he wrote, “4th of July refreshments.”
“I’ve been looking forward to him coming – he’s been here the last 10 days or so. He’s been absolutely brilliant with the players and he’s a great lad on and off the field,” Keane told SkySports. “We’re excited to have him here and he’s going to be a huge addition to this squad. Stevie has that hunger and desire to always do well … he wants to come here and win things.”
Club president Chris Klein, who played with Beckham, also provided an upbeat report of Gerrard’s first week with the Galaxy to this publication.
“It’s been good to get him in (training) and have a little run up until we actually start and until he actually plays,” he said. It allowed him to “get comfortable with our coaches, the different players and he got to meet everyone.”
And just as important, everyone got to meet him.