FROM STEVE BRENNER
Steven Gerrard officially confirmed on Friday morning that he will leave Liverpool at the end of this season after more than 15 years playing for the club.
The former England captain is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and is set to move abroad, with a move to MLS most likely, after declaring he will not play for another team in England.
Following the announcement, Sportsmail looks at where the former England midfielder will be best suited in the USA.
CLUB: LA GALAXY
GROUND: StubHub Center
STAR PLAYER: Robbie Keane
The Galaxy, managed by former US boss Bruce Arena, are the reigning MLS champions and the most successful team ever. With Robbie Keane their star man and talisman, Gerrard would fit perfectly in the hole left by Landon Donovan who retired after the MLS Cup victory over New England Revolution. Living in Los Angeles would ensure his family would enjoy a sun kissed lifestyle in amongst the glitz of places like Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
GROUND: Citrus Bowl (Temporary home until Orlando City Stadium is completed in 2016)
STAR PLAYER: Kaka
Orlando will play their first season in MLS this year and are bossed by former Everton midfielder Adrian Heath. They are backed by Brazilian businessman Flavio Augusto who wasted no time making his mark by signing Brazilian legend Kaka.The team is totally new and would give Gerrard the option to help build Orlando into a serious force. His kids could also get season tickets at Disneyland.
GROUND: Red Bull Arena
STAR PLAYER: Tim Cahill
With Gerrard’s former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier the general manager of all Red Bull franchises across the world, the link is obvious. After Thierry Henry retired , they are desperate for a star replacement although much will depend on the future of Tim Cahill who could quit the club.They have a good nucleus of young players and Gerrard would become the father figure Henry was.
STAR PLAYER: N/A
David Beckham’s plan to rule MLS has been hamstrung for the last 12 months with the former England captain struggling to find a suitable site in Miami to build a stadium. They will not play in 2015 but once the ball finally gets rolling, it would be a fascinating option for Gerrard and his family who would enjoy the climate in Florida’s cultural mecca.
Nicknamed the Beckham rule after David Beckham signed for LA Galaxy in 2007, the complex regulations were brought in to ensure clubs didn’t overload their teams with highly paid foreign stars. So , instead, it limits mega money signing to two per franchise. That means they can paid wages which exceed the strict salary cap – currently around $2.9 million – imposed in MLS.
It basically allows teams to spend big yet enables parity with everyone else. For example, there will never be a situation where a team like Chelsea spends millions more than the rest of the League.
There is an option to have a third slot but teams must pay a $250,000 ‘luxury tax’. That sum would be distributed equally to all MLS teams who have stuck with the originally allotted two.