AEG’s Leiweke Riffs on the Future of Becks and Donovan – and Backs England’s World Cup Bid

The AEG prez wants the futures of David Beckham and Landon Donovan decided in the next two weeks:

LONDON (AP) — The Los Angeles Galaxy want David Beckham’s expected loan to AC Milan to be completed in the next two weeks so the deal doesn’t distract from the team’s bid for the MLS Cup.

The English star has helped the Galaxy make the Major League Soccer playoffs for the first time in four years and the Nov. 22 final is within reach.

But he also wants to join a top European club in January leading to the World Cup to help him stay on the England team coached by Fabio Capello. Beckham is eager to return to Milan after a loan there earlier this year.

“We want to get it done, for him and for us and I don’t want any confusion,” Tim Leiweke,
chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy, said Thursday. “It’s the same with Landon (Donovan). There is a lot of rumors of whether he is staying or going. We’re going to clear that up in the next two weeks because we want the team to be focused.”

Leiweke wants Beckham to return to the Galaxy after the 2010 World Cup despite the hostile reception from Galaxy fans when he returned in July after spending the first half of the year at Milan.

“I talk to David a lot and this year a lot more because I wanted to make sure he didn’t get down and that it would work out,” Leiweke said. “We have a deep appreciation of what he is doing over here with his national team. I wanted him to know that we will support him so we are going to lend him out.”

Beckham is 11 appearances away from retired goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s record 125. He could match the mark if England advances deep into the World Cup, which starts in June.

But with the final not until July 11, Beckham will miss the first three months of the MLS
season.

“We’re not going to give him as much time off this time – he’s going to have to earn his
keep,” Leiweke cracked. “He will have a little time off. I admire what he is doing with the
caps. It’s historical and legendary. We’re honored to have a player of his magnitude playing at the World Cup. We’re going to have four or five of them from the Galaxy at the World Cup and that is real progress for the league and team.”

And Leiweke believes England – not the U.S. should get the World Cup in 2018. Bet Sunil Gulati is thanking Tim for that one:

LONDON (AP) — England’s 2018 World Cup bid received the backing Thursday of the CEO of the company that owns the Los Angeles Galaxy, despite the United States being of the one main competitors to host the tournament.

Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group, said England’s case to put on soccer’s showpiece event for the first time since 1966 was clearly the best.

“I can’t imagine a more passionate host,” Leiweke said at the Leaders in Football conference. “England is a place where people care about football more than anywhere in the world. I’ve never seen passion for any sport like the passion you have for football here.

“FIFA should take a long, hard look at bringing the World Cup to England. Over the years, England have worked hard at their football infrastructure, they have fantastic stadia and deserve to get the World Cup.”

After FIFA vice president Jack Warner – also the president of CONCACAF, of course – dismissed England’s bid as “lightweight” Wednesday for not using star players, a host of foreign Premier League players were presented as bid ambassadors at the Leaders in Football conference.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Boy, a psychologist would make a fortune if he could get Leiweke on his couch. Let’s take a look, shall we?

    “I talk to David a lot and this year a lot more because I wanted to make sure he didn’t get down and that it would work out.”

    I’ll bet that conversation involved Mr. Leiweke’s closet associates — Mr. Glock, Mr. Luger and Mr. Baretta (metaphorically speaking, of course).

    “We’re not going to give him as much time off this time – he’s going to have to earn his
    keep.”

    Gee, it seems that Mr. Leiweke isn’t too thrilled with his precious crown jewel, is he?

    BTW, that comment just verified everything that Landon Donovan said about Beckham in Grant Wahl’s book.

    “England is a place where people care about football more than anywhere in the world. FIFA should take a long, hard look at bringing the World Cup to England.

    Translation #1: I have business interests that I need to suck up to, and Der Fuer…I mean, Mr. Anschutz, wants the seats in the O2 Arena filled at any cost.

    Translation #2: I’m after your job, Sunil. I don’t need no fancy economical degree from no universitee. Look how much money I made for Der Fuer…I mean, Mr. Anschutz.

    Tim-bo, cut the macho crap. You’re nothing but a second-rate booking agent who needs to surround himself with “stars” and to intimidate people to feel good himself. Beckham and his people play with you like a rag doll because they’re better at playing games than you’ll ever be.

    As far as Donovan goes, I hope he leaves for good. He deserves better that to work for a bastard like you.

  • JBT

    Anshutz Entertainment Group…AEFU for short.

  • http://www.prestonm.com/brewcity/juan_carlos_osorio.php KingSnake

    Albion Equity Fogie’s Union?

  • Jonny M

    D’Hippo…Sounds like you need a psychologist

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Jonny M, if you’re too blind to see what Lie-weekly really is, that’s not my problem.