Soccer is probably the worlds most popular spectator sport. Yet Major League Soccer, a professional league in the United States, has never received much attention, even though millions of youngsters enjoy the game on playgrounds and in organized leagues. Hoping to change that situation, in 2007 the Los Angeles Galaxy signed superstar David Beckham to a five-year, $250 million contract. The league hoped that his celebrity status will help make soccer more appealing in the United States. Beckhams arrival did boost the profile of soccer, and he helped the Galaxy win several league championships. But David Beckham is more than just a superb soccer player. He contributes time and money to charity, to try to save lives in the poorest parts of the world. And he encourages youngsters to enjoy soccer as much as he does through academies he has opened across the globe.
In his 20 years as a NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon has established himself as one of the greatest drivers in the sports history. Jeff has won four championships and more than $100 million in his career. He ranks among the top drivers on the all-time wins list with more than 80 victories. This book details Jeffs many successes, both on and off the racetrack. It discusses how he rose to NASCAR fame, from his first BMX bike to his famous number 24 car. Along with his championship titles, Jeff has won the Daytona 500 three times and many other famed races. Off the track Jeff is involved with several charitable organizations. His achievements have amazed NASCAR fans, and hes not yet ready to slow down.
Many basketball experts consider Michael Jordan the greatest player in the history of the game. During his 15 seasons in the NBA, Michael was voted the leagues Most Valuable Player six times. He was the leagues leading scorer a record 10 times. And, most important, he led his team, the Chicago Bulls, to six NBA championship titles. But Michael Jordan is much more than a basketball legend. Through his winning personality, his sense of style, and his many product endorsementsalong with his on-court heroicsMichael became one of the most recognized personalities in the entire world. He helped define what it meant to be cool for a generation of kids. Today Michael remains involved in the NBA as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. By supporting a variety of charities, he continues to be a role model as well.
Sheryl Swoopes established herself as one of the best basketball players in the world while she was still in college at Texas Tech. In 1997 she was the first player signed to a new all-womens professional basketball league, the WNBA. During her career in the WNBA, Sheryl led her team to four championships, was voted Most Valuable Player three times, and was a perennial player in the annual All-Star game. She also earned three Olympic gold medals while playing for the U.S. national team. Sheryl is one of the most decorated basketball players in history, but she is also a role model for young people everywhere. This book details Sheryls many successes, both on and off the court, and discusses how she became one of the best and most influential basketball players.