MLS Commissioner Don Garber points out that MLS wouldn't be alive if it weren't for Anschutz. One-time owner of six MLS teams, Anschutz now owns three: the L.A. Galaxy, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo.
Soccer is his biggest gamble yet. Hardly a seasoned soccer fan, Anschutz, a huge supporter of the Republican party, initially became interested in the game as a family-friendly sport. Beckham, meanwhile, fits that mold perfectly, while at the same time attracting the kind of global star power that could catapult MLS to success in America. "It's that blue-collar work ethic in him, that is why we bet on David Beckham," Leiweke says, adding that AEG is now in talks to bring a second international star to the Chicago Fire, another of Anschutz's soccer teams. Who? All he says is, "There are only four players that move the needle: Ronaldo. Beckham. Zidane. Ronaldinho."