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Kaka is not what MLS needs

Dec 5, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaka Getty Images

A certain Brazilian scored a wondergoal on Tuesday, kickstarting “Kaka-to-MLS” rumors once again. Although the 30 year old denies anything it happening, you never know.

I hope it doesn’t.

Not because getting Kaka wouldn’t be good for the league. It would be. But it’s an unnecessary waste of limited resources, and not the message MLS should be sending. At Fox Soccer, Leander Schaerlaeckens argues that MLS should focus on younger players, and I completely agree. The league should target rising young stars — the best players in Central America, the Caribbean, and, where they can, South America — rather than relying on aging superstars. Yes, Kaka is “only” 30, but so is Landon Donovan. And Kaka is no longer the Kaka of 2010.

Nor is Kaka David Beckham. The Brazilian is a celebrity because he’s a footballer, but Beckham was a celebrity because he was a brand. Two different things. Sure, Kaka would sell some Galaxy jerseys — plenty, probably — but I’m not sure how much he’d do to improve the league’s visibility abroad. The world already knows that MLS exists; the goal now is to prove to the rest of the planet how the quality is improving (and rapidly so). Bringing Kaka to these shores doesn’t accomplish that end. All it does is give Europeans et al another reason to look down on MLS.

And then there’s the money. The Galaxy have deep pockets — SD heard they would spend up to $9 million to secure the services of Didier Drogba — but lavishing fat contracts on men like Drogba and Kaka isn’t the answer. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you should spend it unwisely.

But I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong? Am I missing the influence he and his 13 million Twitter followers would have off the field?

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