[QODLink]
Sport
Beckham considers franchise option
LA Galaxy star keeps his options open as he considers an ambassadorial role in the MLS.
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2009 09:25 GMT

Beckham's return from Milan was not well received by all the Galaxy fans [AFP]
Former Real Madrid and current Los Angeles Galaxy star David Beckham says he is thinking about buying an MLS team when his current contract is up.

Beckham's option to buy a Major League Soccer franchise was reported last year, though he would not comment on the details.

But now the international star, who will be 36 when his contract expires, is just two seasons away from the end of the five-year, $32.5 million deal he signed to leave Real and join the upstart American league.

"I still want to be involved. I want to be an ambassador of the league,'' he said, a day before the Galaxy play the New England Revolution in Foxborough.

"There's a deal in place where I can purchase an MLS team or start a franchise. It's something I am definitely interested in, or I wouldn't have it in my contract.''

Raising the profile

The Galaxy brought Beckham in as a boost for the struggling team and the sport's low profile in America.

Although the benefits have yet to be seen on the field - he was injured much of the first season, and the Galaxy have yet to make the playoffs with him - attendance has spiked at home and wherever the team plays.

"Every game I've played in, there's always an excitement in the crowd,'' Beckham said of the more than 93,000 who came to see the Galaxy play FC Barcelona last week.

"As a player and as a team, you want to play in front of bigger crowds. We need to cultivate that interest in the game.''

But Beckham drew some unwanted interest when he gestured to booing fans who resented his reluctant return to Los Angeles after playing with AC Milan.

A Galaxy supporter leaped from the fan section onto the field after Beckham approached the stands at half-time; Beckham was fined $1,000 by the league.

Bumpy road

"There's always going to be someone saying it's not a good idea, me being here,'' Beckham said.

"You have to take the rough with the smooth. You're going to have some bumps along the way. They've been small bumps so far.''

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Beckham has been "nothing but fabulous'' to work with.

"On the field, he's a very important member of the team,'' Arena said, noting that Beckham was injured for all but a handful of games his first season and returned from Europe just two games ago this year.

"David has stepped in and let his playing do the talking.''

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
join our mailing list