Remember in the late 90s when the Galaxy had some aging Mexican superstar on their team? At the start of the season, the team would go through business as usual and then sometime in May or so the aging Mexican superstar would be plunked down in their midst, the team would have to re-adjust to the player and one another and the team would go on business as usual.
Those days are long gone and the league has grown up a lot since then.
Or so we thought.
Reportedly, the Galaxy are considering a blast from the past, except this time it's an aging English superstar that would be the one dropped into the Galaxy's midst sometime in the first third of the regular season.
The Galaxy and Milan are supposedly looking into an agreement that would see Beckham join the Galaxy after all, but not until the Italian season ends. Then Beckham would be free of all other obligations and would be able to return to the Galaxy. Except, of course, his true obligation should be to his contract and the Galaxy.
This is a terrible idea, the thought of sharing a player in this way. When MLS was two or three years old, there wasn't really any other way around it, and everything was so new that nobody really knew any better. Many people didnt' care for it then as it took time for players to adjust to Jorge Campos or Carlos Hermosillo or Luis Hernandez. In 1998, the Galaxy were off to a flying start but when Hermosillo came the club regressed and it took some time for the team to recover.
The Galaxy owe it to their fans to move forward with Beckham: either he will be here at the start of the season or they'll move on without him. It should be that straightforward. Accepting Beckham's desire to stay in Milan by allowing him to do just that, stay there and join the Galaxy in the middle of the season, will send all sorts of negative messages. How insignificant will the first part of the season be with a big piece of their puzzle off in Europe? Remember 2007, when the arrival was a gigantic distraction? We could see some of that again, and who knows if this team will be able to handle that.
This drama hopefully will culminate by week's end. Until March 10 comes and goes, we won't really know for sure what will happen. But let's hope an agreement in which both sides share Beckham is not one of the options on the table.