MLS chief insists Beckham will return after World Cup
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has insisted David Beckham will return to play in the USA after the World Cup.
Garber said Beckham's move to the Los Angeles Galaxy has been hugely successful and that contrary to some reports the England midfielder would return to the USA after this summer's finals in South Africa.
"David will be back after the World Cup, no doubt about that," Garber told Press Association Sport. "He has been a success. There are always going to be people, particularly in England, that look at everything and don't see the positives.
"Our league is on the map globally, he's one of the most popular people on the planet and he plays in Major League Soccer for Los Angeles Galaxy. That in itself has shown the world we are serious in that we have one of the great international players is in our league.
"Have there been challenges with him going back and forth? Absolutely, but sometimes that kind of buzz is good. Football is a phenomenon in the United States now.''
Garber is hoping that the Beckham factor will increase interest in England's opening match of the World Cup against the USA.
"I think it's important that England has a good World Cup - except for the first match! It will be one of the most popular sports events in America for quite some time. ESPN is going to promote it more than any other event in their history, it's a rematch of the 1950 World Cup match which we surprisingly won.
"It's Beckham v Landon Donovan (a Galaxy team-mate) and that could be a great story. I hope David Beckham plays and he's certainly been spending a lot of time in Milan to give him the best chance of playing.''
Garber also insists he is confident that the ongoing dispute between the MLS and the players will be resolved. The MLS controls all salaries and movement of players between the 16 clubs and the players are calling for more freedom.
"I wouldn't say there are issues," Garber said."Years ago there was nothing to fight about in MLS, teams were struggling and it was hard to see a bright economic future.
"Now there's more stability - though the league is still running at a deficit - and the players are looking for more money and to have better working conditions. We'll get through it, we'll find a system that works for us and the players.''