Anyone here surprised that after a a season and a half in the U.S. (and a full season near the bottom of Major League Soccer), Mr. Beckham is preparing to head back across the pond, albeit temporarily?
Yeah, me neither.
Whether this is a prelude to his permanent departure still isn't clear. MLS officials swear Becks will be back in the Galaxy lineup when the 2009 regular season kicks off, and we have no reason to doubt them, do we?
I mean, there's absolutely no possible chance that he could, say, pick up an injury over the winter that might delay his return to MLS in the spring... right? Nothing like that has ever happened to Beckham, has it?
So MLS is in the clear, and comfortable knowing their most valuable asset is 100% safe playing in Serie A.
But what about the rest of us? Are we any closer to knowing where this loan deal came from and where it's headed?
Both the league and the team issued resounding "no comments" when asked about the prospective Beckham loan.
Still, a closer look at what's already been published should give you a few clues about who didn't cook up this deal.
Note that while the headline claims the Galaxy is negotiating with AC Milan over Beckham's services, the story contains no quotes from Galaxy officials.
Which makes sense when you consider that a few hours before the official MLS story hit the Internet, Galaxy head coach and GM Bruce Arena -- the guy who, presumably, would be deeply involved in any transaction involving one of his players -- didn't know a thing about the proposed loan until earlier that day.
If you didn't click on the link, here's the money quote:
"The first I heard about it was today . . . but I would think [given] the position the Galaxy is in and [the fact that] we're rebuilding our team and trying to have a successful year, it would seem very odd to me if we were loaning out our top players at the start of the season. It would seem pretty odd to me to operate that way."
So clearly this move didn't come from the Galaxy.
Interesting that the story's author, L.A. Times soccer writer Grahame Jones, thinks it's time the Galaxy jettisoned Beckham.
I'm not sure I'd go that far yet, but I don't think I'm off base in saying that Arena echoes what a lot of people thought when they first heard about the deal.
The loan's benefits to Beckham are pretty clear:
A paycheque to carry him though the lean off-season months.
A chance to train daily with some of the world's top players.
An inside track on a spot on England's national team.
But what will MLS get out of this loan besides a setback in their efforts to become a true major league and a winter filled with worry that their moneymaker might get hurt?
They get to keep their highest-paid player happy by giving him exactly what he wants.
And right now he wants to spend the winter playing in Europe.
If you were running Major League Soccer, would you be the one to tell Beckham no?
-- Morgan Campbell