Turf Battle

Twellman at L.A.'s Home Depot Center    

Americans—at least 16 million of us—love to play soccer. David Beckham was supposed to make us care about watching. But after seeing the British underwear model get paid $32.5 million for just five appearances with Major League Soccer's L.A. Galaxy in 2007, fans are turning to a homegrown hero. Taylor Twellman, the New England Revolution's 28-year-old striker, has scored more goals than any other American in the past five years. And after playing 26 complete games last season, the 2005 league MVP led his team to the MLS Cup final. This season, look for Twellman to overcome an early-season knee injury and become the youngest player in league history to eclipse the 100-goal mark. Then look for him to return to the championship. "MLS is as exciting as ever," says Twellman. "Especially since American teams are winning without big-name European players."

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