The LA Galaxy have been one of the most dominate teams in MLS over the last year. A big part of that is that they have all three of their Designated Player spots filled up with world class players. These players are Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane.
All good things must come to an end, and in the case of the Galaxy, this is also true. The core of world class players will eventually have to break up, and today I’ll be examining what the future has in store for each of the big three.
David Beckham has been with the Galaxy since 2007 and signed a two-year contract earlier this year. He will be 38 when the contract expires. After deciding not to take up any offers from Europe, citing that his family loved SoCal among other things, and stayed in LA. It’s unlikely that when he’s two years older that he will turn around and leave the Galaxy. He’ll either stay in LA or retire after his contract expires, but with his quality and love of the game, I think he’ll stick around a few more years.
Landon Donovan’s situation is a bit more interesting. Arguably the best US player of all time, he has never been successful outside the confines of MLS, bar a couple of loan deals with Everton. About two months ago he expressed the desire to return to Everton permanently, but the Galaxy were at the bottom of the Western Conference table and it looked like things were on the downturn.
However, the trio of Galaxy DP’s have all hit fine form and the team has risen up the table to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. If the Galaxy continue to do well, Donovan may want to stay and see if they can win another MLS Cup or the CONCACAF Champions League. However, as long as MLS doesn’t make the asking price high and Donovan still approves, I think that it’s very likely he could be a permanent Evertonian within a year.
Robbie Keane came to Hollywood roughly a year ago and the striker has had a good goal return, scoring 10 goals in 18 appearances. The 32-year-old also went on loan toAston Villa and impressed, averaging a goal every other game. However, he was not so impressive during Euro 2012, unable to find the back of the net as the Republic of Ireland failed to get a single point.
Out of all the Designated Players, I think Keane is the most likely to leave. He still has much to offer to EPL clubs and probably should be playing at the highest level possible, needing to be sharp as Ireland start their World Cup qualifying campaign. I would be surprised if Keane stays in MLS any longer than next summer.