David Beckham’s best option is to stay with the Los Angeles Galaxy and help establish it as one of the world’s elite teams.
In March, the Galaxy resumes play in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League. With Landon Donovan and an excellent supporting cast, the Galaxy may become the first MLS club to win this title and move forward to the FIFA Club World Cup in December of 2012.
This would be a monumental step in raising the team’s profile. A FIFA Club World Cup appearance could pit the Galaxy against other well-known clubs.
The most popular team in the world won this year’s event last week. FC Barcelona has increased its fan base each year over the last several years by winning multiple club championships in Spain, multiple European Championships and two Club World Cup Championships.
When Soccer fans think of the greatest teams in the world, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United are usually the first 3 to come to mind.
In the next tier of great teams, many are most familiar with; Arsenal, Bayern Munich and AC Milan.
For Soccer purists and historians, the LA Galaxy are a long way off from entering the top tiers of great teams, but winning CONCACAF Champions League and making a good showing in FIFA Club World Cup would change a lot of minds.
Just seeing a Galaxy-Barcelona or Galaxy-Man U. final would bring a whole lot of attention to the Galaxy. (That many more Beckham and Donovan Galaxy jerseys would be sold.) If they were to win the final, Beckham would look like a genius to have stayed for the ride.
Beckham would be best off to work on a deal that exchanges minority ownership of the Galaxy for a new playing contract. He has already been promised by league executives that he can purchase a franchise MLS team after he retires at a better rate than other investors, but nothing was ever mentioned about owning the Galaxy.
A higher world profile for the Galaxy would be a worthy investment for Beckham.
He wants to continue to play. By staying with the Galaxy, he could get the best of all worlds. Anywhere else, he may find himself in too deep without familiar routes to world competitions.
He has a comfort level in LA. The vision is there. The mission is there. Can David Beckham lead the Galaxy to the next level?
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of www.AmericanizeSoccer.com