Soccerblog had made the prediction that Real would try and buyout Beckham back from the LA Galaxy at the end of the season. This is what exactly happened. Becks is staying in LA for now and honour his commitment but my feeling is that he will start missing hanging out in the Real locker room with the rest of the Galacticos. I don't think one can also understate Beckham's desire to continue to play and play well for England. For that to happen a sustained level of exposure at the highest levels of soccer is desirable. When I say sustained I mean not just in terms of skill and the intensity of the game but also in its cultural impact.
Becks and Posh will be a novelty act in LA, an endless source of material for the paparazzi but in Europe, Becks found out that Sir Alex and Ramon Calderon were less impressed by his lifestyle. Becks will no doubt attend celebrity photo shoots with Tiger Woods, Michael Strahan, and Tony Parker but soccer in the US still has this incidental feel. The US is 5-8 time zones away from Europe depending on where you live but in soccer terms it would be larger. Just as an example, the NYT with a daily circulation of 1.2 million, published in the largest metro and an MLS club, the Red Bulls, and substantial numbers of Central, Latin American, and European expats and immigrants, gives a measly 8 lines to the UEFA, CONCACAF Gold Cup coverage, and a weekly roundup by Jack Bell. You have to read El Diario to go beyond the AFP blurb.
For Alexi Lalas, Beckham would be a financial windfall once Real and the more moneyed Premiership clubs come knocking on his door once again. He is easily worth twice his signing amount (LA paid 10 million dollars) and he will bring in money through ticket sales. LA will profit handsomely. Becks also stands to earn a projected 50 million dollars every year in advertising and merchandising. But I am not convinced that this will be inducement for him to stay. He is in his legacy mode: Beckham the soccer player, not the metrosexual icon, or the richest athlete, or the next Brit villain in Hollywood. This legacy began and will end in Europe.