David Beckham will play with Italian superclub AC Milan on a loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
This is going to hurt Major League Soccer. Or will it?
Beckham hasn’t exactly been great this year. He’s had moments of tremendous skill on free kicks but those moments haven’t equated into victories for the Galaxy (8-14-8, 33 pts), bottom-feeders in the MLS’s Western Conference. He played on a mediocre team that had a completely mediocre season and missed the MLS Cup Playoffs.
And now, the Galaxy’s off-season schedule only includes matches that have been canceled now that Golden Balls won’t be making the trip to Australia and New Zealand. But those matches were hardly the quality of competition Beckham or his Galaxy teammates need to face in order to get better. At least he’ll be training at a world-class level for 12 weeks leading up to the new season. That’s more than can said for his Galaxy teammates.
At his advanced age (33) Beckham needs to work constantly to stay in playing shape. Training on the right side for AC Milan will definitely keep his pace up and may even improve his stamina. Injuries are always a concern, but Beckham is healthy and should remain so if Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti treats him properly.
If anything, he’s a warrior for wanting to continue training for and playing in meaningful matches. He could take the winter off and kick around L.A. but he’d rather be on the pitch. His choice of loan partners, Milan, only proves his commitment to the Galaxy is more than just about being in L.A. — it’s about bringing world-class soccer to MLS.
Sure, Beckham’s real passion seems to be suiting up for England now that he’s only one cap away from tying England’s all-time leader, Bobby Moore, at 108.
Playing for Milan will make that goal a reality. And the Galaxy, by osmosis, a better team.