David Beckham announced his retirement today, and next move could be returning to the United States and become an owner of a franchise in MLS.
The timing of Beckham’s announcement certainly raises some eyebrows. Just three weeks ago, MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that the league would hopefully announce plans for an expansion team within the New York City limits “in 4-6 weeks.”
The owners of Manchester City, the defending English Premier League champs, are the leading candidates to be owners of the new MLS club which would likely play in Queens.
Beckham as the face of a New York franchise would seem like a natural fit.
Beckham played for the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS from 2007 through 2012. And while the rise in popularity can’t be attributed to Beckham completely, average attendance in the league rose 21.3% during his tenure and he added a sense of growing legitimacy the league lacked previously.
There was a report that Beckham was interested in joining the ownership group of the revived New York Cosmos franchise. However, that team will not be joining MLS and it is hard to believe Beckham would be interested in owning a second-division team.
If Beckham doesn’t join the group in New York, there will be other opportunities. The league has confirmed that cities like Orlando, Atlanta, and Miami could receive expansion franchises in the future.