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Fan’s look: Could AS Roma striker sign with the Los Angeles Galaxy?
The Los Angeles Galaxy are reportedly set to make a bid for AS Roma's Francesco Totti. The potential could be worth close to $20 million per year for the Serie A club's captain. However, if the Galaxy make the bid and Totti agrees, would it be worth it for both the Galaxy and Major League Soccer? Here are five thoughts about the possible move:
The Galaxy have been trying to get younger
Despite picking up the aging Juan Pablo Angel and Frankie Hejduk in the off-season, the Galaxy have been making a greater effort to get younger. Clint Mathis, Eddie Lewis, and Chris Klein all retired, and Dema Kovalenko was released at the end of the 2010 season. They were replaced on the roster by youngsters like Paolo Cardozo to help prepare the team for the future. I'm not sure what good it would do the Galaxy to pay millions of dollars to another player well into his 30's.
MLS has been gaining a reputation as a league where older international stars go to finish their careers. While MLS is relatively young and still growing, does it really want to have that type of reputation? It concerns me that the league would be seen as a place for players approaching their final days to make a few dollars.
However, like David Beckham and Thierry Henry before him, Totti would bring significant star power with him to America. It would help bring more fans to the MLS matches, and it would certainly sell jerseys. Many fans would be drooling at the possibility of seeing Landon Donovan, Beckham, and Totti together on the same team, even if it would only be for half a season.
Is Totti worth the money?
Totti scored 15 goals last season for Roma with nine assists in 32 games last season. Those are solid numbers that would likely rise in the less-talented MLS. However, Totti doesn't have the image that the more well-known players on teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Manchester United have. So while he is a star, he doesn't warrant the kind of money the Galaxy are supposedly talking about.
Is there a need on the Galaxy?
With Edson Buddle's departure for Germany, the Galaxy have struggled to score at times this season. In fact, Donovan has been the only consistent scorer on the team. Angel has been inconsistent, and while active, newcomer Chad Barrett has proven ineffective on the Galaxy front line. If they added Totti to the team, the Galaxy's starting lineup would instantly become the best in the league.
Totti could be a difference-maker for the Galaxy and MLS. However, there are questions as to whether or not the team should take such a huge leap of faith on a player. High payrolls helped bring down the old NASL and it could serve to endanger MLS in the future. If the Galaxy manages to bring him to the United States, they will be even more enjoyable to watch, but the question in the back of my mind will continue to be whether or not he's worth the money.
Derek Ciapala has followed soccer ever since the 1994 World Cup, and has supported the Los Angeles Galaxy since the team began play in 1996.
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