LA Galaxy: 5 Players Who Could Replace David Beckham at Galaxy
David Beckham plays his last game for LA Galaxy Dec. 1 in the MLS Cup Final.
Although this news sparked conversation and debates about who Becks will play for next, spare a thought for the team from Los Angeles.
They will be losing a key member of their squad, an influential footballer, and potentially the most important MLS player ever, as commissioner Don Garber states:
Without doubt, M.L.S. has more global awareness than at any other time in our history and has more legitimacy in the United States because of David. Every measure of our business has grown because of him. (via The New York Times)
So who will be able to step into Beckham's highly polished shoes next season?
Here are five possible suggestions.
The most recent rumors that "Ronnie" was supposedly contemplating a move to the MLS was in late 2011 (via ESPN). Whether that would have been in LA or not, we will never know. However, eventually his head was turned by Flamengo in his home country, Brazil.
The midfielder signed a surprise six-month contract with another Brazilian side, Atlético Mineiro, in June of this year, but that runs out in December (via Soccernet) and the 32-year-old could well be available for another attempt from LA Galaxy.
Brazilian superstar Kaká is one player you would never have thought would be linked to the MLS a few years ago, but his name is being bandied around as a potential for Beckham's replacement.
Football-Italia.net suggest that LA Galaxy are prepared to offer Kaká a €27 million ($35 million) contract over three years, which would match his current wage at Real Madrid and could be enough to convince him to sign.
If Kaká does move from the Galacticos in Spain to the Galacticos in the US next season, it would be a huge coup for the club.
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For those who aren't familiar with the MLS, or with the US Men's National Team, Graham Zusi may seem like a very tame name to put on this list. Especially behind two Brazilian greats.
But Zusi has been named in the MLS best XI, nominated for the Most Valuable Player award and is a rising USMNT star (via FIFA.com).
Currently playing for Sporting Kansas City, Zusi is a right-sided midfielder with a flair for free kicks. Remind you of anyone?
At 26, Zusi has been gaining plaudits since his breakout season in 2011, but would Sporting KC be willing to let him leave?
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Another home-grown talent, 17-year-old Jack McBean is already signed to LA Galaxy and is set to become a future star.
McBean may not be the established player Bruce Arena is looking for to replace Beckham. However, he is definitely one for the future.
Having played two professional games for the club, he scored on his debut, and has already attracted the interest of Scotland manager Craig Levein.
Levein is trying to convince McBean to play for the national team, where he is eligible, thanks to his parents being Scottish (via BBC).
Whether he chooses Scotland or the US in his future, McBean has a bright one ahead of him, and could well be the next big thing for LA Galaxy. So why look any further for Beckham's replacement than on their own doorstep?
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And finally, there is one man who has been top of Arena's shopping list for a while.
Frank Lampard has been linked to LA Galaxy over the past year (via Daily Telegraph), and this announcement from David Beckham is more likely to fuel the fire rather than lay any rumors to bed.
Lampard is the type of player both the MLS and LA Galaxy are looking for. A talented player nearing the end of his career, wanting one final challenge and the chance to help increase the popularity of the game in the US.
LA Galaxy look ready to make a new bid to tempt Lampard over the Atlantic (via Daily Mail) and he seems the hot favorite to follow in the footsteps of his countryman David Beckham before him.