David Beckham Leaving LA Galaxy: Why Becks Couldn’t Change the MLS

Six years ago, David Beckham arrived in the United States to a mighty fanfare. At 31 years of age and still one of the sport's biggest names, the arrival of Beckham looked as if it could be the catalyst that propelled Major League Soccer into a category befitting its name.

But now, as Beckham announces his intention to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy—his home during his entire American tenure—has the position of soccer in the US really moved on?

In 2007, I wrote an article about Juan Pablo Angel, the former Aston Villa striker who had since moved to the New York Red Bulls. Angel had arrived in the Big Apple under the Designated Player Rule, the very rule that allowed the Galaxy to break their budget cap and sign Beckham. 

Both of the players were 31 and neither of them past their prime. These were the types of players, I argued, that would prevent the MLS from going the way of the North American Soccer League ...

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