clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MLS fans should be praying the LA Galaxy sign Ashley Cole

New, comment

Signing Ashley Cole will not ruin MLS, so everyone should be very happy the LA Galaxy want to cripple their defense to sign him.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

My friend Rob Usry wrote an article here on Dirty South Soccer that says it would be an "embarrassment" for MLS to let the Los Angeles Galaxy sign ageing left-back Ashley Cole.

That is very wrong.

In fact, fans of every other team outside of the Galaxy should be wishing that this move comes to fruition.

Since the arrival of David Beckham, the Los Angeles Galaxy have been seen as the paragon of MLS. They've won three championships in the past five years, so maybe that title is deserved.

In addition to winning in MLS, the franchise has a top-tier developmental academy and was the first club to take advantage of the league's partnership with USL to create their own reserve team in the third-division of American soccer. The club is thinking ahead, and pushing the boundaries of what American soccer teams can do. They were the first team to exploit loopholes in the USL structure "loaning" players on USL contracts to MLS games, and no one batted an eyelash when MLS let them absorb the Chivas USA developmental academy.

For a team on the forefront of challenging MLS rules for their betterment, why are collective fanbases outside of Los Angeles upset they could be damaging their roster by signing a 35 year old left back, a position of strength for the Galaxy?

MLS was once at a point where fans could legitimately question year to year if operations would pick back up after an offseason or would be suspended for a period of time. This can never be overstated, but it also must known the league has been in a healthy-enough financial state for quite some time. In the past 10 years alone MLS has doubled from 10 to 20 teams, and looks poised to keep growing.

There is no argument that bringing in a player who once said negative things about MLS will damage the overall standing of the league, because while MLS is linked to Ashley Cole it is also linked to much higher quality players such as Carlos Vela among others. If Ashley Cole does arrive in MLS, he will probably be just another spec in the international transfer market and will not be the most well known Designated Player signed this year.

Outside of this, it is absurd for non-Galaxy fans to not want Cole on the Galaxy because of the effect it will have on that team. Cole is a high-profile enough player, like Steven Gerrard, that when you sign him you almost have to play him. To accommodate his skill-sets Cole will almost absolutely have to play as left-back forcing the Galaxy to move one of their best players, Robbie Rogers, into an unfamiliar position at right-back.

Bringing in Cole will most certainly weaken the overall defense of the Galaxy, who already sold defensive midfielder Juninho and center-back Omar Gonzalez this offseason.

Every team's goal in MLS is to win MLS Cup. Having a perennial contender make awful personnel decisions is a rare thing in a league that prides itself on competitive balance. As a staunch New York Red Bulls fan, seeing a team that my team would have to overcome to win MLS Cup falter is fantastic sight. Watching other franchises pour money into bad players is a hallmark of American sports. We should be embracing it.

Who really cares if Cole once said playing in MLS would be akin to sitting on the beach? At one point in all of our lives we have made remarks disparaging something we came to end up loving, and frankly, if Cole is not invested in playing in America, but signs here anyway it will only make the Galaxy even more. What a fine situation for everyone outside of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

So Los Angeles, please, for all of us, spend as much money as you want on Ashley Cole. It is the right move, we promise.