Liverpool and former England captain Steven Gerrard has announced that he will finish his career in Major League Soccer.
Liverpool’s legendary captain on Saturday used the club’s official media outlets to communicate that “he will move to the USA this summer”.
The 34-year-old midfielder will join the MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy after this Premier League season, signing a prorated 18 month contract for a reported $6 million a year salary.
Although he’s famously never won an English Premier League title with Liverpool, Gerrard’s finished runner-up with the Reds three times, he did win a UEFA Champions League crown with the club in 2004-05 and he’s won a pair of FA Cups (2000-01, 2005-06).
Gerrard will be 35 when he joins the Galaxy and while he has been a great player, he is not a great player today. The reason he is leaving Liverpool is because he does not want to become a squad player at Anfield. How will he feel when Bruce Arena sits him down for some Galaxy matches?
The problem I have with MLS sides spending huge amounts of money on aging superstars like Gerrard is that are they still advancing the game in North America? Will MLS get any sort of return on that $6m salary? I don’t think so.
David Beckham transcended soccer and he arrived in MLS he brought mainstream media attention and fans across the country flocked into stadiums to watch the Galaxy play. Will Gerrard to that? I don’t think so.
If MLS wanted a big name that will bring average American sports fans to a MLS game, why not target Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard instead of Gerrard? Howard is better know to the average MLS fan and I believe will bring more fans into the stadiums than Gerrard.
If MLS is to grow as a league is need to stop overpaying for aging European superstars who are past their prime and looking for one final paycheck. The league is past that stage when it needed to do that. For MLS to continue to grow it needs to invest in American stars, either here or abroad.