David Beckham Is Not Los Angeles' Biggest Concern
Will he or won't he?
For MLS fans, we all knew that this was inevitable as soon as it was announced that David Beckham would be leaving for Milan on a loan deal.
Whether or not we're willing to admit, whether or not we're in denial, we all knew deep down that Beckham would probably try and leave for the greener pastures of the San Siro.
The riches being shoved at him by the owners of the Los Angeles Galaxy couldn't compete with the chance for one last fling at football's highest levels.
MLS has given AC Milan until Friday to reach a deal with the Galaxy regarding Beckham. After that, talks are supposed to be off.
What's the problem here? LA is holding out for more money, but they know that thanks to an exit clause in his contract, Beckham can just leave for free in October anyway. Take the cash while it's still on the table, and use it to rebuild one of the worst lineups in MLS from last season.
The Galaxy are just being foolish at this point. Beckham is 33, and while he's been solid in a Milan shirt, his best years are behind him.
He'll begin to fade enough that even American fans will begin to take off their rose-colored glasses and see that he's not the player he used to be.
MLS players are more fit than most people give them credit for. They'll begin to outpace Beckham in every aspect of the game if he stays. At least if he goes to Milan, he'll have one last shot at glory.
And from a purely competitive standpoint, the Galaxy have bigger problems to deal with.
Landon Donovan is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, and has been performing at a very high level for Jurgen Klinsmann's club. Los Angeles should be much more concerned with losing his services. He's still young at 26 years of age, and has scored 52 goals for the Galaxy since 2005.
Seven years younger than Beckham, and far more productive at this point in his career.
You know that Klinsmann would love to keep Donovan in Munich beyond March, especially with how he performed in exhibition matches over the mid-season break. The American media seems to be ignoring this in favor of the Beckham story.
It has everything to do with fame and nothing to do with on-field results.
Donovan is the United States' all-time leading goalscorer. He scored 20 goals and managed nine assists in the 2008 season, despite playing with a team full of guys who would struggle in the USL.
Beckham has spent a great deal of his time on the Galaxy roster injured. When he's been on the field, the results have been good, but not good enough to push LA into the playoffs.
He isn't on par with Pele, another foreign superstar who spent time at the end of his career in the US.
So why is his proposed move to Milan being treated like a major international incident?
Donovan should be the bigger concern. He wants out, and he has an interested suitor. He's ready to prove himself in Europe, and Bayern are willing to give him that chance.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena will be keen to rebuild his squad, and what better what to do it than by using Donovan as his centerpiece?
It just doesn't make any sense for LA to keep Beckham around when they can use the millions that his transfer would generate to make themselves competitive again.
Galaxy, if you're reading, sell Beckham while his stock is high. You should be doing everything in your power to keep Donovan on American soil if you want to compete.
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