The site of Frank Lampard at an L.A. Galaxy match Wednesday had the supporter speculation meter cranked up to 11.
It is interesting, admittedly, that at the very moment Lampard’s longtime place at Stamford Bridge looks so shaky, the man shows up in a seat next to David Beckham, inside the AEG suite at the Home Depot Center during Wednesday’s match against Philadelphia.
So the natural assumption was that Lampard was in town to an up-close look-see, to kick the MLS tires and stare in the mirror at himself in a Galaxy shirt to assess the fit, look and general appeal.
If it happened, Lampard’s arrival into MLS and the Galaxy would be a major story. He’s an England international and a high-quality midfielder, still with enough tread on the tires to qualify as “big ol’ honkin’ deal.”
But that would only be half the tale, since the Galaxy would have to clear one of its current Designated Players; either Beckham, Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane would have to be jettisoned. Donovan’s recent decision to sell his Manhattan Beach house (don’t get excited; you’d need to dig through a ton of sofa cushions to scrape together the $4.3 million needed to grab that bad boy) had people putting two and two together. And sometimes when you do that, you get “five.”
I made some phone rounds this morning, talking to people at MLS and with the Galaxy. Conclusion: I don’t think there’s much to the Lampard story. The guy was just doing what many of us do – and wish we could do more often: spending some vacation time in sunny SoCal.
Call it a hunch. Those pasty-white England types love them some L.A., after all. Wayne Rooney spent time there recently, not long after Gary Cahill made the scene.
Besides, if the Galaxy were into top-secret negotiations with the England man, and if they wanted to keep it on the down-low, they probably could have. Safe to say, they wouldn’t have put the man in an AEG suite with spotlights practically pointed in his direction.
I could be wrong; it has happened before. (“Face-what? A site where you tell people what you’re doing? That’ll never catch on!”) But if I’m guessing, Lampard will not be a new denizen of L.A. Galaxy Valley.