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Replacing David Beckham around the Home Depot Center

Nov 25, 2012, 7:30 AM EDT


Since time will be short before this January transfer window opens, L.A. Galaxy management is surely, already, talking about those Designated Player replacements for David Beckham.

Don’t forget, the Galaxy will need to be back in camp earlier than most MLS clubs, with that early CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on deck. That can only add another pancake or two to the stack of pressure here.

First off, of course, is gathering up Landon Donovan’s status. (More on this later.)  aving to replace Beckham is one thing; having two Designated Player spots available would change the entire DP dynamic here, opening up quite a few more options.

For instance, the Galaxy could bring in a Frank Lampard as a signing that checks the boxes on “useful” and “splashy,”  and then employ another one to gather up a difference-maker more in his prime, someone with even greater value to the club’s competitive pursuits.

Either way, with one or two DP spots to fill, the other wildcard here might be Omar Gonzalez.

The big American center back could well be the most important Los Angeles Galaxy man of all. We all saw how alarmingly rickety that back line became in his absence during those early months of woe around the Home Depot Center.  As much as Robbie Keane did over the season’s final two months on offense, Gonzalez did just as much over the final four months to stabilize that leaky defense.

And that kind of stabilizing rear guard force will come at an increasing price. It’s possible that Gonzalez, 24, might even require DP dollars to extend his Galaxy days.

This is a good place to start as we all explore the Galaxy’s impending DP pursuit, a look at life after David Beckham (complete with lots of handy numbers) at LAG Confidential.

  1. tylerbetts - Nov 25, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Would Omar Gonzalez even accept DP money and stay in LA? He seems like he wants to go to a much bigger pond. And, he seems to have the skill to be able to go play in that pond.

    • danielofthedale - Nov 25, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      The next contract Omar signs he will be paid as DP. Now whether that is in LA, in Europe, or somewhere else in MLS is TBD. Like you, I think he is headed over season, I would think in the Summer window. That gives the league more time to showcase that he is full over that knee injury.

      However MLS has shown that it will not sell a player if the price is not right, I would not be shocked to see Omar re-up with LA at a higher salary to be a DP player only to be sold down the road.

  2. danielofthedale - Nov 25, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Assuming Donovan is playing for LA next season (and I think that is going to happen) I don’t like the idea of them bringing in Frank Lampard. He will turn 35 before his first game with the team since I don’t think Chelsea will sell him in January. If LA is worried about lost ticket sales w/o Beckham there are only a few players that could off set that if that is the case and Lampard is not one of them. Plus best case you get two or three good years out of him.

    How about spend some money on scouting and find a great up and coming talent in South America that could be the heir to Landon and be the face of the team for years to come or at the very least make the team a nice sum of cash in a future transfer if he gets to that top level talent.

    • tylerbetts - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:33 PM

      I’m with you on Lampard. If you’re going to bring in a guy that far on the end of his career, he needs to be an honest needle mover. I don’t think Lampard is that guy. David Beckham? The guys I work with that don’t follow soccer know who he is. Frank Lampard? Not so much.

      Now, there aren’t that many of those guys out there available to MLS (even to NY and LA). MLS isn’t going to get Messi, Ronaldo, or Rooney (at least not THAT Rooney).

      • John D. Halloran - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        Completely agree on Lampard. I love him as a player, but Beckham was big because he was big outside of the soccer world. As Tyler said, how many people are going to go to an MLS game just to see Lampard? The answer is not many.

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