[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.