Only a few short years ago, MLS desperately needed David Beckham's cachet and celebrity to spark interest and investment in its developing league.
As Beckham concludes his six-year spell with Los Angeles after a second consecutive MLS Cup appearance on Saturday, the situation has changed dramatically, according to MLS commissioner Don Garber.
"We needed David Beckham in 2007 to help drive our credibility, to help grow our popularity and to show the world, really, that the United States and Canada - which just came [into the league] in 2007 - were ready to support a division one league at the levels it could be supported around the world," Garber said during his annual State of the League conference call on Monday. "We don't need anything today to get us to the next level."
Consolidation at this currently promising stage probably ranks higher on the list of immediate objectives. That said Beckham's departure and Landon Donovan's uncertain future have created some waves within the ...