Entire MLS profits from Beckham signing

David Beckham's pending arrival in Los Angeles is certain to boost interest in Major League Soccer.

David Beckham is used to big-time managers, having played for the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello.

Add Canadian Frank Yallop to that list.

As coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Yallop will have Beckham in his lineup next season after the former England captain agreed to a deal with the MLS team Thursday.

Yallop is was the 2001 MLS coach of the year with the San Jose Earthquakes, whom he led to the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003.

While Beckham used to look over and see Roberto Carlos, Ashley Cole or Denis Irwin at left back, the star player will see Halifax's Ante Jazic there for the Galaxy.

Jazic, 30, came to Los Angeles this season after playing in Croatia (Hrvatski Dragovljac and Hajduk Split), Austria (Rapid Vienna) and Russia (Kuban Krasnodar).

The move to MLS and the Galaxy has worked for Jazic.

"So far I love MLS, the league itself," he said from Los Angeles. "I am ecstatic about my way of life here, so, for me, it's been the best move of my life."

Life as a Galaxy player is fairly sedate off the pitch, according to the Canadian fullback.

"That will change, I imagine, with Beckham," he said. "But you are fairly anonymous. No one knows you."

The Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and Kings rule the Tinseltown sports roost.

"Hopefully, with Beckham coming, the Galaxy will move up on that list," Jazic said.

"It's just the soccer-lovers — who love soccer, who supported soccer before — who know who the Galaxy are. But the average American who doesn't know anything about soccer probably doesn't know anything about the Galaxy."

Impact felt in Toronto

The ripple effect of Beckham's signing was quickly felt north of the border, where Toronto FC reported 500 calls and 100 ticket sales Thursday morning alone.

And seven TV cameras were on hand to record Toronto FC's reaction to the Beckham deal.

"It's terrific for the league, it's terrific for us. The phones have already been ringing off the hook," Tom Anselmi, chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, told reporters.

The expansion team already has a solid start to its ticket campaign, with about 7,000 season tickets sold.

The MLS schedule is not out yet, but Anselmi says Beckham and the Galaxy will be in Toronto "later in the summer."

"L.A.'s going to be a better team, there's no question about that," Anselmi said. "And they're going to sell a lot of tickets in every town that they're in."

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston, no stranger to making a splash himself after turning out for both Rangers and Celtic during his playing career in the Scottish Premier League, calls the Beckham signing "a turning point for this league.

"On and off the field, he puts bums on seats, there's no doubt about it," Johnston said from Indianapolis, where he was preparing for Friday's MLS draft.

Johnston also believes other star players will follow Beckham to North America.


The Galaxy could use the help.

Los Angeles was 2-8-1 last season when Yallop took over in June and finished 11-15-6, missing the playoffs.

Anselmi said Toronto FC and other teams are not involved in financing the Beckham deal, which, according to the Galaxy, is worth more than $250 million US in salary and commercial endorsements.

According to the Washington Post, American forward Landon Donovan topped the Galaxy salary list last season at $900,000 US with defender Benjamin Benditson at the other end with a mere $11,700 US.

The MLS salary cap is $2.1 million US this coming season.

New salary rules in the league allow what's called designated player category, under which, for a star like Beckham, only $400,000 US is counted against the salary cap, with the team owner paying the balance above that.

Each team is allowed one such player and can trade for a second.

It was quickly dubbed the David Beckham Rule.