SmorgasBorg: Hidden message in Kaka's dance with LA?
Real Madrid midfield star and LA Galaxy target Kaká may still be in Spain for now, but his arms are outstretched as wide as the Cristo Redentor statue in his native Brazil.
"Come and get me," is the message he sent to MLS on Tuesday when we read between the lines.
"I will go if I have an agreement with the club,” Kaká said when asked specifically about the interest from LA after Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League victory over Ajax at the Santiago Bernabéu.
In the world of "player speak," that’s as close as you get to an admission of real interest. In MLS, we're used to deciphering the words that come out of big name players when they're asked about playing in the USA and "I will go if ..." is not one we're accustomed to seeing.
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We still would probably think nothing of it, if the stats and statements didn't back the premise.
Tuesday night's match meaningless Champions League match could have been seen as a send-off of sorts for the Brazilian national teamer. In fact, it marked only Kaká's fourth start for José Mourinho's side in all competitions this season, they gave him the captain's armband and he took advantage and scored a scintillating goal.
It may have been an appetizer for Galaxy fans of just what could be in MLS.
Real Madrid's next UEFA Champions League match comes next year, by which time Kaká may already become the latest LA Designated Player if club owners AEG get their way. Just last week in an interview with SI.com, AEG chief executive Tim Leiweke made clear his interest in having Kaká be the replacement for the departing David Beckham.
In that interview, Leiweke spoke confidently of the club's ability to work out a deal with Real Madrid in the same way he did to bring Beckham to the Galaxy in a transfer first announced during the 2007 January European transfer window.
What's different about this move: Kaká is famished for playing time. And he is a full year younger than Beckham was when he first joined LA. But what's more: Kaká is also just over a year-and-a-half away from playing in the dream World Cup for any Brazilian player. His country hosts it in 2014.
Kaká was surprisingly called back into Brazil's squad for two October matches after a two-year absence. And many believe he has a better chance as ever to stick with Luiz Felipe Scolari taking over the reigns of the Seleção from Mano Menezes. He was on Scolari's World Cup-winning squad in 2002.
If Beckham helped MLS' profile off-the-field, Kaká could do it by making that 2014 World Cup. As an MLS player.