It's official, Beckham is gone. It's over or it's beginning depending which way you look at it. Where does LA and MLS go from here.
Sure LA is going to get a new DP or 2 in the next year, but that's not really what this is about per se . This is about the league as a whole really, filling the void left by Beckham. Can they fill the void left by David Beckham? On the field sure, because really, Beckham limited what they could do on the field. He was slow, one footed, and one dimensional. Quite honestly I'd say Juninho is a better player. Beckham was still dangerous with his pin point passes on set pieces and on long balls, but losing Beckham the player is not going to cripple this team.
Replacing Beckham the Icon and Beckham the Ambassador? That's the tough part. The Galaxy are about to get a new face. the question is what kind of face is it going to be, Brad Pitt or Sloth?
Now, of the names mentioned, the best possible replacement for Beckham would be Kaka. Not only would he improve the Galaxy on the field, but he would improve their image in south America and in the latin community in Los Angeles.
From there I think it goes down hill image wise. You have Frank Lampard. Now, Lampard strictly from a soccer standpoint would be a solid acquisition, we all know that. The question would be is he the best all around replacement for Beckham? I would say no. Really it would be a couple steps back from an image stand point. Not only would he fit the stereotype of the MLS "Super-star" (semi retired European), but there's also been some "unsavory" confrontations in his past, outside of Hotels.
So what would be best for LA and MLS as a whole. Sign Kaka? Sign Lampard? Or maybe just wait for a truly big time superstar to come along who wants to play for MLS, who that might be, I have no idea. I will say there's only 1 player they should wait for, and that would be Cristiano Ronaldo, but the odds of LA getting him are very slim, if not non-existent. They shouldn't wait though, because they need to strike again while the iron is hot, because the sporting world does not have a very long memory, and they could lose all their momentum.
For MLS, lets face it, the only team who gets any real media attention is LA, and they are the international face of the league. If LA takes a step back, who'd fill that void? The New York Energy drinks? Seattle? Not likely. Fortunately for the league if LA does go down it won't be down for long.
I think Beckham might be the gift that keeps giving though. He gave the league a foundation to build on, the good thing about a foundation is that it by nature is very sturdy for a very long time. American soccer has never been stronger than it is right now. It's far from a finished product, but MLS is going to be fine in the long run without Beckham, and probably would've been ultimately with out him. It's just that having Beckham really, really helped.