The former England captain and international footballer has signaled his departure from the MLS after five and a half seasons with the LA Galaxy. An icon to the league, commissioner Don Garber praises Beckham for impact on the league, both domestically and abroad, “There’s arguably not a soccer fan on this planet that doesn’t know the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer, and David played a significant role in helping us make that happen.”
Since his arrival at the Galaxy, a handful of big names have also stepped into the MLS picture: Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Tim Cahill have all lead successful streaks with their respective clubs. Further consider the expansion of teams including San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Montreal since Beckham’s arrival in 2007, and it’s easy to understand his resounding impact.
Beckham, now 37, is rumored to be returning to the Premier League for as he puts it, “one last challenge.” Harry Redknapp, former Tottenham boss and England National Team candidate took over for Queen’s Park Rangers less than a week ago, November 24th. Acknowledging it as one of the toughest tasks he’s been faced with, Redknapp must save QPR from relegation. It’s easy to understand why Redknapp wouldn’t mind having Beckham in his lineup, the Rangers are currently last in the table with 4 draws and 9 losses.
But Redknapp isn’t the only one eyeing the legendary English striker. Swedish giant Zlatan Ibrahimovic has encouraged Bekcham to join his side in Ligue 1, hinting that if Beckham has any interest in winning trophies, he won’t go to QPR. No trophies appear on the horizon for Rangers, with Redknapp making known his goal: simply to finish fourth from the bottom and avoid relegation.
While Beckhams final cap for the Galaxy comes this Saturday, December 1st against Houston at the Home Depot Center. Teammate Landon Donovan is also signaling a possible departure. Only 30 years old, Donovan was on loan last season to Everton, where he led a successful campaign the Toffees finished just out of reach of Europa League qualification.
The real story behind all of this is whether the MLS can recover from such a departure. While fan-base and reach have grown, the MLS is still considered by many to be a step behind the top European leagues.