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Is Francesco Totti Preparing to Join LA Galaxy?

francesco totti Is Francesco Totti Preparing to Join LA Galaxy?

Photo by Francesco Totti

Over the last few years, Major League Soccer has truly grown into a competitive league with talent, heart and spirit. Thanks to the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, Europe has begun to take serious notice of the rising status of American soccerl. Therefore, speculation has continually grown with the rumors of some of the best stars of Europe wanting to be a part of the action.

In terms of the immediate future, one name that has recently been brought up is A.S. Roma’s Francesco Totti who has been linked to the LA Galaxy. The Italian sensation, who has been lighting it up in Serie A since 1992, is now 34 and may want to end his career in the lucrative MLS market. Supposedly, reports show that the Galaxy is willing to offer as much $20 million a season for the striker’s services.

In terms of the star power of MLS, this deal would be a massive boost. There would be a whole new market of rabid fans who would drool over the sight of the Galaxy with Beckham, Landon Donovan and Francesco Totti in their starting eleven. An increase in attendance, jersey sales and TV ratings would also ensue from the arrival of Totti.

However, there are those who express dismay over where MLS has been heading with the inclusion of international superstars. The idea of MLS as a platform where some of the best players want to finish their careers and earn more money worries supporters of the game in terms of the league’s reputation. Personally, I disagree with these concerns and believe that MLS has particularly benefitted from the designated player phenomenon. Beckham has laid down the groundwork which has convinced top talents of the world that MLS is the perfect league to show off their talent and garner massive support.

In terms of the Galaxy, the arrival of Totti would certainly help in terms of providing them with a top goal-scorer. Totti, despite his age, still had 15 goals and nine assists last year in Serie A so he would likely torch defenses in MLS. The Galaxy has lacked a consistent finisher besides Donavan as Juan Pablo Angel has proven to be inconsistent. The Galaxy are already one of the best teams in all of MLS and with Totti, they would be far and away the most dangerous team in all of America.

The quality of MLS is surging and if Totti is signed, it would continue to convince others that there is great potential in the U.S.A. One such player who has recently talked about the possibility of taking his talents across the Atlantic is Fernando Torres. After crushing the U.S. National team in front of a packed stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he admitted that playing in the States would be a great opportunity towards the end of his career. He remarked, “You never know. It’s a long time for that, I am only 27 so [in] five more years, who knows? I would like it, the chance,” he said. “I like the country and I would like to be a part of the improvement of the soccer.”

The development of MLS is moving faster than ever and some of the best in the world want to be a part of American soccer.

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael Schwartz

Michael wrote for World Soccer Talk in 2011 and 2012 with pieces that tackled a variety of topics related to the English Premier League and International competitions. He’s now back to continue writing about the Beautiful Game. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelSchwart2
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68 Responses to Is Francesco Totti Preparing to Join LA Galaxy?

  1. Earl Reed says:

    The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. So goes MLS. I guess it’s the same in every other league around the world, but MLS does seem to want to protect some competitive balance. That is, until aging stars like Totti and Seedorf decide the only places they’ll play are Los Angeles or New York.

    • Abram says:

      I’ve always been surprised that Chicago could never attract some “bigger name” DPs, they are a huge international city, same for Toronto. I honestly don’t mind the idea of LA and NY becoming too powerhouses, its no different than many leagues in the world (ie La Liga) where there are really two teams that are a class above everyone. Luckily (or unluckily depending on your POV) MLS’s parity keeps teams from turning into Real Madrid and Barca.

      • Clampdown says:

        Blanco was a big-name player, no?

        Also, I know it’s popular to assume players will only play in NY or LA, but how do we know it’s just not the management of other clubs that are unwilling to pay what LA and NY will pay?

        And, $20M a year for Totti is nuts. I like him, but that’s some insane money.

        • Abram says:

          Blanco is on that Ljungberg level of player. He is a big time player, but I guess I meant as far as name recognition outside of soccer circles. (don’t know if that makes anymore sense).

        • bigvic says:

          Hopefully, that $20mil is for 2 or 3 years. Not a bad investment. Remember, the LA galaxy have gone down a bit in the international friendlies department the last 2 years. They had success in Aus/NZ first year or two and i think a couple of other places, and maybe they want to revive that a little before Becky heads off into the sunset. I guess this means they’ll get rid of Angel next month. I actually like this play for more international press, too bad that as shield winners they wouldnt be able to showcase this lineup in a tournament of some international repute. Outside of playing NYRB, what other match might Eurosnobs or someone overseas make sure to watch? LA vs. Morelia? (they’re not Boca/Santos/Flamengo)

          • Nick says:

            If LA are paying Beckham 5 million a year, there is no way they would pay Totti 20 million a year.

            It seems that the going rate for a just past prime Euro Leagues star is around 4 to 6 million a year.

            That 20 Million number must be for multiply years 4, 5 or 6 years.

    • dan says:

      MLS needs the powerhouse teams like NY and LA to compete on the international level. Until an MLS team makes the Club World Cup we won’t have much legitimacy as a league in the world’s eyes. You can complain that RSL got close, yes but close wasn’t good enough.

      • MUFCforlife says:

        Ok as writer of this article, I first of all feel that having LA and NY becoming tow of the best is sensible. They are big market cities and they attract players to come over which is essential for the MLS. I think protecting the competitive balance is important but getting the league stronger in terms of hype and revenue is the most important thing for a league that is still growing. I want the MLS to one day become just as big as big as some of the other sports and I feel having well-known, exciting talents is key for this.
        I also see that once LA and NY get too filled up, other talented players will go to other teams like Chicago which also have big markets.
        Blanco is a top player too. Just simply didn’t mention him. I do think its partly that other teams are unwilling to pay the same $ as LA or NY will. I will agree that the fee is insane.

      • Alan says:

        The US needs powerhouse teams like NY and LA? Yeah, no other team in MLS can possibly be as good as them. It HAS to be NY and LA, right? RSL or any other team like FC Dallas (who is doing better than NY right now) couldn’t possibly be that team. In order for the league to grow, there needs to be more competition, not 1 or 2 teams that destroy every other team in the league. Oh, and the runner-up to last year’s Club World Cup is from the Congo. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t hear the world talking about how great a league the Congo has.

    • Mase NJRB says:

      La Liga) where there are really two teams that are a class above everyone. Actually are a class above the rest of the world, agree that Chicago needs to make a couple of splashes this transfer window b/c their attendance is dropping.

  2. Abram says:

    so would Galaxy just release JPA?

    • MUFCforlife says:

      Probably. He would definitely become expendable.

      • Abram says:

        wouldn’t they have to in order to fit Totti in as a DP. OR it could be that Donovan is actually going to leave to Europe. OR it would be a move for next season if Beckham is leaving. OR maybe they can push the league into one more DP spot (lol).

        • MUFCforlife says:

          That’s a lot of if’s. I think its the first one in that Angel would be pushed out for certain. Besides, Donovan isn’t going to Europe again, Becks will stay around and another DP spot would just be unfair to other teams lol

    • David says:

      Yes. Absolutely. To be honest, they wish they never signed him.

  3. Rex says:

    Kinda funny that AEG promised Dynamo fans a ‘big’ DP but that hasnt happened with no promising leads. Now they are gonna dump $20mill to get Totti to LA. Sucks to be orange-headed step children. Proof that we no longer should have people owning multiple teams.

    • dan says:

      I agree 100 percent. As a Galaxy supporter I wish AEG would just sell the others and focus only on us. It would probably be much better for the other teams too

    • bigvic says:

      if you listen to glenn davis podcast from Houston, then you’ll probably realize that AEG is probably thinking that if they cant get a big-name MEXICAN player then they probably dont think a DP from eslewhere will help them in the dramatically-putting-fans-in-the-stadium sector

  4. john says:

    I’m surprised no one here has pointed out that there are MLS games taking place tonight at the same exact time as the United States vs Panama Gold Cup Semifinal. Am I the only one who thinks this is a pathetic thing to do?

    • Mase NJRB says:

      I agree, was thinking the same thing last night. Great turnout for Philly and even Chicago wasnt that bad. Bad scheduling by MLS once again, i would never miss a meaningful US game over a midweek MLS game,suprised at the attendance numbers last night.

  5. Alan says:

    As much as I am a huge Totti fan and want to see him play here, I am getting tired of every major name wanting to go to either New York or LA. I think La Liga and EPL have great players, but I would never want to see MLS be like them from a competition perspective. One of them wins the title every year, and everyone else is just there to be beat on a regular basis.

    • MUFCforlife says:

      I agree with you about La Liga. EPL is different though as any team can trouble the big teams on a weekly basis. The top teams do win but it’s so much more of a struggle unlike LA liga.

      • Alan says:

        That “trouble” only has an effect on the big 2 and their quest to share the title back and forth. Those wins will never turn into anything for the smaller team. EPL is no different, except that the smaller team wins more often. That is still not saying much. It is a 2 team league, unless Manchester City can buy their way to the title.

        • MUFCforlife says:

          5 teams have expectations to win it this year. It never comes as easy as it does in LA Liga. Smaller teams in England take pride in taking away points from the best which makes it the best and most compelling league in the world.

          • Alan says:

            Only 2 have a chance, unless you count Man City. The best and most compelling league in the world? lol. I always get a kick out of people saying that as if it is fact when it is an opinion.

      • Mase NJRB says:

        Well La Liga boasts arguably the two best teams on the planet, cant say that about any other league. Neymar going to Real is going to make it even more unbalanced.

        • The original Tom says:

          Interesting thing that Sid Lowe of the guardian noted, the 3rd place teams in both the EPL and La Liga had 71 points, suggesting the difference between the two is that the top 2 in La Liga were far superior. Nonetheless, only two teams having a realistic chance to win the title is boring.

          That is not the case in the EPL, however; Man City, Man U, Chelsea, and Arsenal all have a chance. I wouldn’t completely dismiss Liverpool who don’t have Champions League to distract them. And the race to see who makes the top 4 (the playoffs as it were) is intriguing. One day Ferguson will retire- it will be interesting to see if ManU keep their perch.

  6. Robert says:

    Hey what a surprise, another big star to the second largest TV market in USA. Keep up that parity MLS.

    • Master Obvious says:

      You can’t have it both ways. You can’t expect the rest of the world to notice (increased exposure and respect) without sending great players to the two big markets. You can’t expect the country to care if no one sees the games on TV (placing great players in large broadcasting markets). You can’t grow the league without spending on the coasts. Let the fly over states develop the homegrown talents.

  7. quentez1 says:

    I still say raise the salary cap 5 dps.Because they don’t make enough money in MLS especially american players.We also need to stop being scared pussies about our league and drop the fear of Nasl out our heart that was years ago lets move on soccer is here now forever.Let’s spend

    • bigvic says:

      one this is for sure, there just isnt enough top-level Americans to warrant their inclusion in the salary cap. I’d even go so far as to include all of concacaf players. First off, what are the odds that a Galaxy/Cosmos/RedBulls would be able to secure that lineup that would just smoke everyone (G Rossi, Subotic, Chicharito, Donovan, Dempsey, etc)? I hate to burst your pro-US National team bubble, but including Dempsey and Bocanegra on the Galaxy doesnt mean they start beating everyone 4-0. Perhaps including Guisseppi Rossi (a US citizen and damn proud of it!) and Subotic does, but the international market is so tough that you’d literally need to spend like Man city…which would be even more obscene in MLS. And frankly, in such scenario there would be a revolt by other owners. Exclude American players from salary cap, and maybe even consider all concacaf players down the road. Now, if we’re talking about excluding European and S. american players then I’d say you’re definately threatening parity.

      • Nick says:

        I think before you get to a bidding war with European Team (that is just not going to happen), MLS will instead go up to top levels within South American Leagues like Argentina and Brazil.

        One thing I absolutely don’t want to see is lower level foreign players taking slots for young or developmental American players. Red Bull for example frequently plays only 1 American – Tim Ream. That is not enough.

  8. Tuttle says:

    Therefore, speculation has continually grown with the rumors of some of the best oldest stars of Europe wanting to be a part of the action.

    Fixed.

    I’m a Roma die-hard. Totti coming to LA might even make a fan of me. But let’s not kid ourselves here.

    • Hold On says:

      I agree totally. This article was a bit optimistic. Hope he’s not an MLS shill.

      • MUFCforlife says:

        I’m not really sure what an MLS shill is but I do watch it and want it to grow just as much as any other footy lover.

        When I said “best” I was meaning in terms of overall history. In no way did I mean Totti or any of the other players from Europe that come to the US are still in their prime. I say best in terms of legacy. Not every player who comes to America is like Henry or Becks, (Angel or Luke Rodgers) but a lot of the all time best players do like the prospects of coming over to a new market here.
        The article was optimisitc because the prospects of this deal can’t hep to make you anything but optimistic.

  9. The original Tom says:

    One reason I don’t fear the dominance of two markets is because the MLS has play-offs. LA can win the supporters shield again, and that is a great accomplishment (if I ran the league I would do more to recognize), but Colorado could still kick them out of the play-offs if the stars align right.

    The other reason is that those two markets have three, and perhaps soon four, teams. Having said that, I’m surprised an Italian wouldn’t consider the RedBulls or Toronto. And I’d love to see the Montreal team attract French speaking stars- Drogba anyone?

    • dan says:

      Anelka is my money for Montreal.

      LA & NY are obviously the markets to be in, but you also must remember they probably are willing to spend more than other teams. It’s not just about what the players choice of city always is.

      If other teams were willing to spend the insane prices that LA and NY are putting up then I could very well see Chicago, Toronto and Vancouver attracting the megastars too.

  10. Charles says:

    I don’t follow him, his team not do I know virutally anything about him.

    Let me guess, he is up for contract negotiations and a rumor popped out of nowhere about LA offering him more money than seems possible.

    The Sounders were supposedly going to offer some guy $10 million a year too, until Hanuer said, no actually we are not going to pay him $10 million a year.

    Good luck in your contract negotiations Totti, anyone with a brain realizes LA already had 3 DPs and CANT offer you that kind of money.

    • Snatch the Pebbles says:

      “Some guy”??? Either you’re a new fan, or you are a hard-core “Home Grower”. Wow. Read up if you want bro. There is some talk that the “some guy” you refer to was/is pretty famous. Ohhhhh, wait, you’re a Sounders “fan”. NOW I understand.

      • Charles says:

        Well you are better than the Sounders fans definitely.

        Give me a break. IF you are dumb enough to think he is coming here, it tells me all I need to know.

        BTW, 99.9% of Americans have no clue who he is…and the other .1% ( guys like me ) don’t care.

    • David says:

      Seriously!?! Do you follow this sport? The guy is a legend in Serie A. All time scoring leader for AS Roma, European golden boot winner, World Cup Winner, and I believe he was voted into the all time Serie A best-11 last time they voted on it. Do you really think if he wanted to come that MLS wouldn’t find a way to make it happen? As far as the 3 DPs are concerned, JP is on a 1- year deal, Becks deal ends in December and it is unknown whether Donovan will be in the league this time next year.

      The big question is whether or not Totti would leave Roma rather than retire, though for $20m a year, he might be tempted. That figure is insane though. He would be making more than everyone else in the organization combined, front office included.

  11. Alan says:

    I am really confused as to what constitutes a large market if Toronto and Chicago do not. If it is population, then they are very close to equal to LA. Are we talking a national audience where people won’t watch a big name if they are not playing in New York or LA? It seems more logical that if you had more big names playing for more and more teams that you would get more people tuning in to more games. If it were just LA, then people would only tune in when they are not on. What if Kansas City were play Chivas and two big stars were playing there. That wouldn’t draw ratings?

  12. Alan says:

    Plus, what if Colorado and Dallas last year had Beckham and Henry playing for them last year. Would that not have boosted the MLS Cup TV ratings nationally?

  13. Andy says:

    the problem with MLS is the salary cap. In each roster you have DP’s paired with players making 30k a year. So you have a very inconstant play and it’s tough to watch. I remember a few years ago you had Beckham and his million dollar salary firing in crosses to Alan Gordon who was making 30k.

    The league would be better off not brining in these old big name retirees and focusing on a league that develops American talent and allows that talent to play.

  14. Lucas says:

    Bottom line Totti will never leave Roma he has already got a contract as a coach/trainer for Roma when he retires at the end of his contract. Also unlike everyother pro player in the world Totti sticks to his club through thick and thin. THE KING OF ROME IS NOT DEAD!

  15. quentez1@yahoo.com says:

    Hell yeah Andy ur right.Salary caps gay.Look at it like this .Do we want the
    ” Franchise curse”in MLS.YOU know lock outs,players who have a spot everyday cause ur teams allocated for garbage season with no consequences,
    I love my domestic league.But alot of MLS fans don’t love futball I grew up watching European football I’m sorry i can’t help it i always hear the same shit,the reason stars don’t come here is because the league structure.Fuck i would nt play in a league when i play my ass off i top form i could nt make 500,000 a year.Zakaini got sidelined by a scub.I don’t miss a NSC stars game I don’t see tackles like that in d2 Steve did nt have a DP contract even though I think Zakaini,Alonso,and Fernandez the soul of the sounders.This is why American talent don’t play i can go on and on.Eddie Johnson rather ride the bench than make 80,000 a year thats why I never mad when players wanna leave.MLS not a retirement league Serie A is.lets fight for football in America .

    • David says:

      Did you type this with your forehead? Also ur is spelled your. Please get back on your meds.

      • quentez1 says:

        Who cares how your spelled and my meds give a opinion.Abram I see your post all the time u know and understand the game.I have a lot of respect 4 u bro

  16. Gen says:

    Gees, the Roma Ultra’s will burn Rome…no I can’t see Totti leaving Roma, his is Roma, he loves the club and has proved that many many times.

  17. Michael says:

    Are you serious, Totti in the USA!

    No offence but, the USA can do much better than that!

    He don’t run, never trained like a pro, never took care of his body, spent his whole career on massage table and score lots of penalties and a few free kicks, here and there.

    Who’s gonna take the free kicks, is he better than DB at it… no way!!

    Has he ever played a good game for his country… not really, he just spat on a player!

    What can he do: sell some shirts, yes! Play a few nice passes, yes! I’m running out of things to say about FT…. Oh, he could do some AT&T adds with his wife, like back in Italy, for Vodafone.

    • kelly says:

      in addition he is currently the 5th highest goal socerer in italy now,at age 34 can still score goals, can still be call back to the national team,with an injured leg he lead italy to the q/final in 2006 he has lots of things still locked up in him.

      • Michael says:

        Call back to the national team… your having a tin bath, Kelly.

        Before he (Totti) gets called back, Del Piero is a better player and better professional.

        What Totti did in 2006… how long ago was that?

        Of all those goals… how many are penalties

        In 59 games for Italy he has scored 9 goal… I rest my case there!

        He has played 474 games for Roma, scored 202 goal in almost 20 years.

        That is good record but again, how many penalties… sometimes two a game…

        Galaxy can do much better, get a real pro who does not spit and complain when someone touches him.

        • Lucas says:

          Haha ok so you say “What Totti did in 2006… how long ago was that?” then right after you say “Galaxy can do much better, get a real pro who does not spit and complain when someone touches him.” I dont get it because that happened way before 2006. From what I can tell you dont know much about Totti and the type of player he is. First of all Totti started his career as a midfielder then as he aged he started playing striker (Btw striker means forwards just though you would want to know that seeing how uneducated you are about this sport) Totti makes more passes and sets up more plays than another player in Italy and in the world, only exception being Xavi. Totti not only has awards as a player but also with is charitable acts with WWF,Stars for Charity…etc Their is so much more that Totti does on and off the field that makes him one of the top professional athletes in the world, altho he made some mistakes but no ones perfect. Your ignorance both surprises me and disappoints me, but what else would you expect from an MLS fan boy.

          • Michael says:

            Bru, I live in Italy, support Roma and see er pupo play 10 times a year!

            I know his game very well, maybe you sitting there watching highlights on TV, see just the final pass, I get to see him do nothing for much of the game then, score a penalty.

            What did he ever do in the champions league? Any Manchester Utd fan will tell you… Totti, who?

            As for his national team exploits… man up my friend, he never did anything! He is no Baggio, in fact he is a bloody country mile from a Baggio. He is not even a Zola, not even close!

            What Totti does off the field has NOTHING to do with his in field games.

            The MLS does not pay a player 20million or even consider paying someone 20million a year to save the whales, or be a UN ambassador.

            I worked with the UN, to be an ambassador for them is a great CV stat, nothing more. Anyone can ask others for money, stand on a stage and preach the good game. Few can do it and and not have it talked about. Your ignorance is based upon support for a player, man up and be objective!

            He is never an MLS player, it is a disrespect to even suggest it.

            Oh and one more thing, when I say get a real pro: I mean, get someone who trains like a pro everyday, I have been a number of times to trigoria (the training ground) and Er Pupo is 90% of his time… getting a massage.

            He cannot run for 90mins, he never trained like a pro, not like a David Beckham, first in, last out!

            He can play a pass, I will never take that from him but… 20million for a pass… Man up my friend. I know Seria A like the back of my hand.

            How wrong did you get me…

  18. NYRB3264 says:

    I heard Roma are interested in Donavan, so maybe he could be included in the deal.

  19. Michael says:

    I just don’t get it, why would any of you want him to come and play the MLS?

    What are you all trying to promote: when you are past it, come and play in the USA, we will pay you to walk up and down a field?

    I mean, come on!

    Even if he did want to come (he does not, he is a god here in Rome), why would you want him?

    Why not make a star out of one of the Roma Primavera players, they have some fabulous players in the youth system but… Totti…come on!

    If the MLS is ever going to man up and try for the bench mark, it will have to attract players who are no more than 28-29 from the EU.

    Pay them bigger fees, make them the designated players, then after 5-8 years (for example), aim at lower ages lower. Give your future US football players examples that are not ‘grey haired’, over the hill has-beens.

    We sit here in the EU and laugh: no relegation (that is a joke to us Europeans) and a free invite to the old men.

    You have some of the best athletes on the planet, a training and work ethic superior to most… and… Totti, I mean, come on!

  20. Roger says:

    Enough with all these out-of-prime European players and their “I want to move to LA or NY” thing. They automatically assume or expect that the MLS want’s to acquire them. If those players want to come play here, they should be given a certain ultimatum, which is: if you want a ‘retirment’ team, we (the league) will choose which team you should go to. Take it or leave it.

    • Michael says:

      I agree!

      Maybe also, the DP rule could only be for players who are younger than 31-32 and by, lets say, 2018, they must be under 30…

      If no one makes a ruling, players will use USA as retirement and that cannot be the message sent to young fans.

      If one is going to pay for them to come over, at least have them come over before they are ‘done’ and can still offer physical attributes to the game.

      • Roger says:

        Yeah the DP rule needs to changed, it’s awful. It creates a big-market vs small-market bias. It voids any of the “parity” logic the MLS likes to preach about. It’s taking an example of the European leagues, and that’s not the MLS.

        • The original Tom says:

          The DP rule should not have age restrictions and the rule is good for the league. Let clubs make their own decisions about age and see if it works. If you don’t like old players coming over from Europe, root against them and the clubs that sign them. The Colorado Rapids could use more fans! :)

          • Roger says:

            I’m not really for having age restrictions, but more for equal and more responsible DP signings from MLS teams. My team, the ‘Quakes, has no DP players because of it’s low team salary/budget given from the league due to the so-called “small-market” factor of San Jose (even though it’s city of over 1 million people). While LA and NY feel entitled to fill all their DP spots. It’s not really fair.

            And yes I’ll enjoyed watching the Quakes sham the “Real Madrid” of the MLS aka the LA ‘Tubesocks’. They played such a defensive game.

          • Alan says:

            Wow, I am glad to hear you are a Quakes fan. We have something in common.

  21. Trev says:

    I was at JFK airport yesterday, and Totti was there with his family waiting on a limo. Maybe he’ll be a Red Bull

  22. juvenile says:

    i tink totti should go n be the most highst paid player in history of football

  23. cristiane luzia toth says:

    olá! sou do Brasil, sou descendente de italianos e a pronuncia do meu sobrenome é totti! será que somos da mesma família? gosto do Roma e tu é muito bom jogador parabéns!

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