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Jan 12, 2007

Lalas excited by Beckham's Galaxy move

LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas believes David Beckham's arrival in MLS will bring a whole new audience to the game in America.

Beckham yesterday agreed a £128million five-year deal with the Galaxy, whom he will join when his Real Madrid contract expires in the summer.

AllNight on ESPN Radio: Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas says David Beckham will help bring MLS and soccer in America to the next level.

The former England captain is the most recognisable footballer in the world and Lalas, an ex-USA international, is confident that will work in favour of the MLS.

'He appeals to so many different people,' he said. 'There is going to be a curiosity factor. There are going to be many people who are going to come to their first MLS and first Galaxy game to watch David Beckham.

'You sometimes get lost when you talk about Beckham. He is going to make our team better.

'We like to think he is coming to the premier club in MLS soccer. First and foremost he is a good soccer player.'

Lalas added: 'Our company AEG is committed to pushing the envelope when it comes to these things, we want to be viewed not just as one of the premier soccer clubs in the United States but also one of the premier soccer clubs in the world.

'You have to bring quality players and first and foremost was `can David Beckham bring us success on the soccer field?' We believe he is in the prime of his career, he has played for two of the greatest clubs in the world and played at a high level for a long time.

'We wouldn't have done this deal if we didn't think he was going to come in and individually and collectively help this team.'

Lalas indicated his desire to build a 'quality team' around the former England captain.

'The business part of this is evident and the money is obvious, but my complete and utter focus is that we have a quality team to surround him with so that when he comes in he is playing for yet another successful Los Angeles Galaxy team,' he said.

'The expectations are the same that we have for all our Galaxy players. It's a privilege and an honour to play for this organisation, but it's also a responsibility to continue to win and to give our fans the successful and entertaining team they deserve.'