MLS: Top 5 Consequences of a Potential Beckham Departure

Ned Harwood@@RBStampedeContributor IIIOctober 25, 2011

MLS: Top 5 Consequences of a Potential Beckham Departure

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    It seems like it was just yesterday David Beckham graced our American television screens for the first time in an MLS uniform, injecting astronomical amounts of hope into the bloodstream of a somewhat small US Soccer fan base.

    And yet today, the MLS must finally accept the fact that the Beckham experiment is almost over and that the revolutionary legend could be out of the US sooner than any of us may like. With interest from European clubs such as Tottenham, PSG, and Leicester City, the odds of Beckham extending his MLS contract are looking slimmer every day.

    But how painful would the departure of Beckham be to the league that has invested so much into his presence? Here are the Top Five Consequences the MLS would face if such a departure occurred. Enjoy!

The Loss of the Beckham Brand

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    As silly as it sounds, the MLS might miss the verbal privilege to say “Bend it like Beckham” just as much his physical curling capabilities on the field. The league and its television partners use every chance they get to mention big names like Beckham in promos and other advertising opportunities, and losing one of those names could significantly affect the casual fan’s desire to view a MLS game of the week.

    No Beckham means no putting his face on billboards, commercials, or magazines and that could be detrimental to the casual fan’s interest in the developing league. 

Weakens the Galaxy

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    While the loss of Beckham may not physically affect 17 teams in the MLS, it certainly will affect possibly the most important team in the entire league, the LA Galaxy.

    Heading into the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Champios League, the Galaxy cannot afford to lose such a key distributor and presence if they have a chance at making history. The team has an excellent opportunity to become the first MLS team to win the tournament, but that won’t get any easier with the departure of one of the best assist-men in the league.

    The loss of Beckham could delay the MLS’ rise to the top of CONCACAF a little bit longer. 

Loss of Jersey Sales

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    Of course the loss of Beckham would hurt the MLS’ economy as well, as Becks has been in the top three in jersey sales every year since his arrival. I’ve seen non-soccer fans even spend the cash to get a Beckham jersey, just for the thrill of having his name across their back. No matter how hard the league may look, they may never find a more recognizable figure that can sell jerseys as well as Becks. 

Loss of Foreign Interest

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    Although Beckham is a few years past his English International prime, the man still does receive a fair amount of attention by former fans across the Atlantic. Teams and fans are still interested in how the English legend is performing these days, and that interest has resulted in the MLS receiving international media attention it wouldn’t have otherwise received.

    Less foreign interest in Beckham’s Galaxy means less interest in the MLS, and that certainly is not what the league wants right now. 

Loss of the "Big Name"

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    Beckham was the instigator of this "Foreign Superstar to MLS" revolution and if he leaves, will those who were considering the move be less inclined? Will they ponder why Beckham chose to not extend his contract and be turned off by the league’s lack of attractability?

    No one knows the answer, but these controversial questions don’t even need to be asked if Beckham chooses to stay in the MLS for another year. 

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