This Saturday's MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo may be David Beckham's final game for the LA Galaxy, but according to MLS commissioner Don Garber, he could return to the organization as an owner.
During his state of the league teleconference on Monday, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed that interest exists between Beckham and the league for the 37-year-old midfielder to own an MLS club when he decides to retire. The MLS commissioner admitted that the only place that Beckham could not exercise his option was with a potential club in New York City, leaving an option open for investment in the Galaxy.
“There is a possibility for him to work with the league office to find ways to transfer that option into an opportunity in LA,” said Garber. “It is way too premature to even talk about that or to even speculate what that would look like, but that opportunity does exist, if it meets the approval of the league, who in essences holds that value. David holds the option and the LA Galaxy would need to be part of the discussion.”
The Los Angeles Times mused on this possibility last week after Beckham announced that he’ll play his final game with the Galaxy on Dec. 1 in the 2012 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo.
In his press conference last week, Beckham reaffirmed his interest in an ownership stake in an MLS club.
“My commitment to the league since I came six years ago stays the same,” said Beckham. “I still want to be part of the league; I still want to be an ambassador for this sport in this country and around this country and that continues.”
Garber stated that there was “a lot of work to do to figure out how this option gets exercised,” but six years removed from Beckham’s signing, the commissioner admitted there are “no regrets” with the decision to offer Beckham the option to become an owner.
“At that time, remember where Major League soccer was. I believe we had 12 teams in the league. We had not yet had the television relationships that we have today. We had probably half the number of soccer stadiums and the league was just more immature,” said Garber. “What we were looking for was a long-term partner in building this league, someone who was committed to working with us in creating more value for everyone. That’s the role that David played. ”
Audio of commissioner Garber's complete state of the league address can be found here