At the end of the 2011 MLS season, the conventional wisdom was that the images of David Beckham raising the Anschutz trophy would be his last in a LA Galaxy uniform. Paris St-Germain, bankrolled with the billions of their Qatari benefactors, were pushing hard for Beckham to join their team and were willing to pay any price to have him. So popular opinion was that upon Beckham's contract expiring on the 31st of December, he would join PSG on the 2nd or 3rd of January. Well, we all know how the PSG negotiations worked out, but it still wasn't clear if Beckham would return to the Galaxy. Today, Beckham settled the issue about his future by signing a two-year contract with the LA Galaxy.
So why did Beckham turn down a PSG contract that no Galaxy offer could ever match? I think it came down to a quality-of-life issue. That's an odd thing to say or read if you're comparing Los Angeles to Paris, but Beckham and his wife have four children and a temporary move for his family was a non-trivial matter (the classic multi-body problem). It is even less trivial when everyone else in the family likes being in LA. I would have thought that Beckham would relish the opportunity to become the first English football player to win league titles in four different countries, but it appears that for him, his family comes first. Good for him.
Beckham said in his statement that he had received offers from various clubs around the world, and I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. The marketing and ticketing payoffs to the club are obvious, and he can still play at a decent level but perhaps not at a major European club (PSG notwithstanding). Beckham's not coming back to England to play for a club not named Manchester United, and even though Sir Alex Ferguson has recalled recently retired midfielders, Beckham isn't going back there. Anywhere else gets back to the quality of life issue that I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
For the Galaxy, Beckham's return is a huge boost to their chances for the league and the CONCACAF Champions League. They still need to acquire a replacement for Juninho to become a contender for the CCL, and that signing will pose the bigger challenge to the team. Donovan and Keane have to return healthy, of course.
For MLS and their broadcast partners, Beckham's return makes the newly negotiated contracts much more valuable and makes ticket and broadcast promotions easier. There are of course 300-odd other games to promote, and MLS still needs to find other players like Beckham who can become big stars and help the league continue to grow.