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Blanco not bothered by Beckham's shadow, enjoying start to MLS career

Blanco not bothered by Beckham's shadow, enjoying start to MLS career

David Beckham has drawn the crowds. Cuauhtemoc Blanco has scored the goals.
Mexican international Blanco has been a quiet hero in his short stay so far in Major League Soccer _ if not for the league, then definitely for the Chicago Fire.
Since arriving in July following the CONCACAF Gold Cup, he's scored two goals, assisted on four more in five games and helped the Fire win three of five matches, enabling them to get back into contention for a playoff berth.
His game against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday almost assuredly won't attract the more than 66,000 that attended Beckham's match at Giants Stadium two weeks ago, but that's fine with him.
"It does not matter to me because I am here to play for the Chicago Fire and my teammates," Blanco said Thursday. "Everything else is secondary."
Blanco is the latest Mexican star to venture north of the border, joining Jorge Campos, Luis Hernandez, Carlos Hermosillo and Francisco Palencia. While some of his predecessors, most notably Hernandez, did not speak well of MLS, Blanco puts it on par with his homeland.
"In comparison to Mexico and the United States, this league is a little bit more physical," he said. "The players come at you harder and faster, but at the end of the day its pretty much the same thing.
"This league is improving year to year; in a couple of years it will be one of the more important leagues in the world."
The arrival of international luminaries such as Beckham, Blanco and Colombia's Juan Pablo Angel have raised the international profile of MLS, and apparently is sparking inquiries from Blanco's contemporaries.
"There are a lot of players who have interest and are asking me questions," Blanco said. "I have nothing but good things to say about it and I think in the near future more and more players are going to play in the United States."


Updated : 2021-05-07 13:36 GMT+08:00