Nov. 15, 2007
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - For much of the summer, the North American soccer world was caught up in "Beckham Mania." Former Yale star Jay Alberts '04 got to experience all the hype first hand last week. Alberts and his Vancouver Whitecaps FC teammates played an international friendly with David Beckham and his LA Galaxy team on Nov. 7 before a crowd of 48,172 Vancouver soccer fans.
"It was definitely an exciting night," Alberts said. "It's not too often that you get to play in front of 50,000 fans and world class players like David Beckham."
The Whitecaps, who compete in the United Soccer League First Division, the highest level below the MLS, managed to play a scoreless tie with the Galaxy. Beckham played nearly three-quarters of the game.
"He is a great player, but once the whistle blew, we treated him like any other player," Alberts said. "We did not sit back on him but respected his talents and tried limiting the dangerous opportunities that he relishes."
Alberts, who will be back in New Haven this weekend for the Yale-Harvard game, enjoyed a fine season for the Whitecaps, appearing in 20 games and scoring two goals and adding one assist. At Yale, he was one of only five players in Ivy League history to be named first team All-Ivy four times. He finished his career at Yale second in career assists with 22 and fifth in points with 62, and as a freshman became the first Yale player to be named Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
After the game with the Galaxy, Alberts and some of his teammates spent time hanging out with Beckham
"He was very nice, sociable and a down to earth guy who did not have an arrogance to him," Alberts said.
The only drawback of the experience, no Posh sighting.
"Posh, to the dismay of all the guys, wasn't able to make the trip," Alberts said. "She was preparing for the Spice Girls tour which kicks off in Vancouver in December."
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity