Galaxy have options, but Designated Player not a priority
No word yet on where David Beckham is headed, and no new word on who's going to replace him in the LA Galaxy lineup, although Kaká's name has been most prominent, for obvious reasons.
AEG president Tim Leiweke confirmed that one a month ago, telling SI.com on the eve of the MLS Cup final that he'd love to have the Brazilian call the Home Depot Center home in 2013.
“We're well aware of Kaká's interest in MLS, and we in turn have made it very clear to him that he's aware of our interest in him,” Leiweke said. “We have a great relationship with Real Madrid, and just as we worked through a player with them six years ago [when we signed Beckham], I'm absolutely convinced we could find the right deal this time, too.”
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard's name has been tossed around, too, and reports from Europe have Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini on the verge of a two-year agreement with the Galaxy, ostensibly as a Designated Player.
The Galaxy have two DPs on the roster already, as long as Landon Donovan decides to return, so if Cudicini is LA-bound – the Galaxy have declined comment on the reports – Beckham's replacement in midfield likely is Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas, who had a fine 2012 campaign with the club after arriving a year ago from Costa Rican power Alajuelense.
There is no need, officially, to fill Beckham's DP slot.
“We don't have to bring in a new DP,” head coach/GM Bruce Arena told MLSsoccer.com. “I don't think Tim said [we will do so], to be honest with you. I don't think Tim has said we're bringing in another DP.
“We're always going to consider options for Designated Players, but that's not the No. 1 priority of our team.”
Kaká would offer something special in midfield, as Beckham did, but Cudicini would secure the weakest spot in the Galaxy's lineup.
Starting goalkeeper Josh Saunders is out of contract – Arena says there have been discussions with him but no decision has been made to bring him back – backup Brian Perk has reached agreement on a new deal, and No. 3 Brian Rowe is under contract. LA acquired the rights to Will Hesmer from Columbus earlier this month in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft.