CARSON, Calif. – In a little more than a week, the LA Galaxy will play for their fourth MLS Cup title on Dec. 1 against the Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Center. If that wasn't enough to build hoopla, the match will also serve as the final game for David Beckham with the Galaxy.
While Beckham’s finale will make headlines worldwide, Galaxy believe that it does not overshadow LA’s bid for the title.
“No, obviously they’re very aware of their timing, their announcing it and when. For us it doesn’t change anything. This team is very used to having a lot of attention on it,” affirmed Galaxy captain Landon Donovan. “For different reasons, I actually think it’s probably a good thing. He’s certainly going to be very motivated, as if he wouldn't be anyway. And for all of us who have been around him a long time we want to send him out on a good note.”
Beckham is quick to agree that the drama of MLS Cup only adds to the emotion surrounding his finale with LA.
“It’s been my home for the last six years, I've had some amazing times, one or two difficult times, but I've had some amazing memories here in this stadium and with this team,” said Beckham. “To be able to finish my career as a galaxy player in my own stadium, in a Cup final is special enough. Hopefully, to win it would finish everything off for me.”
The Galaxy midfielder is not alone in that sentiment as head coach Bruce Arena believes that it could augment Beckham’s career with LA that has seen him make 98 regular season appearances, tallying 18 goals and 40 assists in six seasons with LA.
“I think it will contribute to a great day,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “I think it will make for a fabulous event.”
But the Galaxy boss is quick to admit that it will be no easy task for LA or Beckham as the Houston Dynamo pose a real challenge for LA.
“Obviously our team wants to win the Cup and certainly for David to get two and a row would be great,” said Arena. “But I forewarn you, our opponent is going to be extremely difficult to beat. Houston is a very good team right now and they’re going to be very difficult team to beat.”
CARSON, Calif. – What’s next for David Beckham?
The 37-year-old midfielder will play his final game for the LA Galaxy on Dec. 1 in the 2012 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Center, but where he ends up has led to much speculation. One this is for certain, however, as the midfielder believes that he has another challenge left.
"I still feel that I have something left in me as a player," said Beckham. "I still feel like I have one more challenge in me as a player, even at 37 years old. I still can play at a high level. Where that will be yet I haven't decided. I have some exciting opportunities on the table. But right now my focus is on the final."
During his press conference, Beckham issued an emphatic “no” to the prospect of staying in MLS or retirement.
"People have talked about my retirement. People have mentioned when I'd retire," said Beckham. "And I actually don't feel as if I'm ready to retire yet. So that's not one of my options right now."
Those options off the table, there are a multitude of others that have been bandied about where he'll end up next.
“I do have exciting and some interesting options on the table. Over my career I’ve had many rumors said about where I’m going to be playing, what teams I’m going to be joining and even at 37-years-old that has not changed. I’m sure that will continue to happen until I’ve made my decision. I haven’t made any decision right now because my full focus is on the final in ten days."
And when will this decision come?
“Everyone will know probably by the New Year,” he affirmed.
CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham’s time with the LA Galaxy may be winding down, but that did not save him from a little bit of friendly banter from his teammates on Tuesday morning.
The LA Galaxy announced on Monday that Beckham will play his final game for the club in the 2012 MLS Cup Final, but head coach Bruce Arena informed the entire team on Tuesday.
With the announcement official, Beckham’s teammates had their own reaction to his departure.
“They gave me a bit of applause this morning and a little bit of abuse as well. That’s something that I expected. I’ve always said about it, I’m not just saying it for the first time here. These players are special people, they’re not just good players, but they’re good people,” said Beckham. “And that’s hard to come by, to have every one of the players be a good person. I’ve been honored and very lucky to be a part of that for the last six years.”
Defender Todd Dunivant was quick to explain the club’s playful jabs, but admitted that the rest of the club is excited for Beckham’s future and the future of the Galaxy.
“You always got to jab him because he’d do the same to you. It’s a little somber. He’s a great teammate and a huge part of our league for the last several years,” said Dunivant. “Obviously we’re disappointed to lose him and I think he’s disappointed to be leaving but he’ll have another chapter to go to and so will we.”
CARSON, Calif. – What will David Beckham’s legacy be with LA Galaxy fans?
That question will be bandied about by many over the next few days, weeks and even year, but when asked on Tuesday, Beckham had his own thoughts on what that legacy should be. The 37-year-old midfielder will play his final game for the LA Galaxy on Dec. 1 in the 2012 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo, but while Beckham’s is set to, potentially, leave in a blaze of glory, it wasn’t always so.
During the 2008 season, Beckham’s relationship with the Galaxy fans was tentative at best during his loan to A.C. Milan, but since then, the Galaxy midfielder has mended any fences as LA has flourished over the past three years, reaching three of the last four MLS Cups and winning in 2011.
However, as he prepares for his final match with the club at The Home Depot Center, Beckham believes that his relationship has improved since those challenging days.
“[It’s] hopefully slightly better,” said Beckham with his trademark smile. “Every time I’ve been asked about the loan part, I’ve always tried to explain it, I’ve always tried to clear everything up and I felt that I’ve done that over the years and I felt that I’ve shown my commitment to the fans and hopefully they’ve seen that. I just want people to have enjoyed watching me play here and watching me work here, and that’s what I want people to remember me for, my hard work and the success that we’ve had as a club."
How will you remember David Beckham?
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CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham will end his tenure with the LA Galaxy on Dec. 1 with the 2012 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo, but along the way, he’s had a significant impact on many players including Galaxy captain Landon Donovan.
Donovan and Beckham have been teammates on Galaxy since Beckham joined the team in the summer of 2007 and been through their share of interesting moments. Whether it was their rocky beginnings through Donovan’s comments in Grant Wahl’s book “The Beckham Experiment” or their embrace on the field after winning MLS Cup in 2011, the pair have been through plenty over their six seasons together.
Through it all, Donovan admits that the two players have learned that they are more alike than not.
“He would admit there’s been some hard times, certainly been some hard times for me, but through it all I think we all understand we all have some similar goals,” said Donovan. “Actually more similar than dissimilar, I think we’re all very proud to be part of what we’ve been a part of.
While it wasn’t always a smooth relationship between the pair, Donovan admits that he’s grown not just as a player, but as a person since Beckham arrived.
“[Beckham’s departure] doesn’t impact my personal future. But I’ve grown a lot. Forget about the soccer part. I’ve grown a lot as a person since he’s been here. I’ve watched him closely with all the things he does,” said Donovan. “His leadership ability, how he handles himself, it’s been an inspiration for me. We haven’t always gotten along, especially in the beginning, but he’s a good person. I think we’re all very happy for him that he’s ready to move on and do whatever comes next.”
I got a chance to speak to David Beckham in an exclusive interview for LAGalaxy.com.
Check out the interview below...
The fact that David Beckham will play his final game for the LA Galaxy at the 2012 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo has created a wealth of buzz in the United States as well as the "other side of the pond" in the United Kingdom.
Check them out above.
Beckham's history of titles in his final seasons with Manchester United and Real Madrid, a good omen for LA?
David Beckham will play his final match for the LA Galaxy on Dec. 1 at the 2012 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo, ending his six year run with the Galaxy that has seen him expotentially grow soccer in the United States and Canada.
That the Galaxy will play for a championship in Beckham's final match is fitting for anyone who has followed the 37-year-old Englishman's career.
In Beckham's final season with Manchester United in 2003, Beckham and United captured the Barclaycard Premiership title. Four years later, in his final season with Real Madrid, Los Blancos were crowned 2007 La Liga Champions. Could this mean that LA will win their fourth MLS Cup championship and second with Beckham on the team? Who knows.
While it remains to be seen if Beckham will once again close out his tenure with a championship, below is a photo of a Beckham of an earlier era when a teenage Beckham participated in the Dallas Cup youth tournament.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) November 20, 2012
It is an end of an era at The Home Depot Center as well as Major League Soccer as David Beckham will play his final game for the LA Galaxy at MLS Cup 2012.
To honor Beckham, MLSsoccer.com has created a video compliation of some of Beckham's greatest moments in MLS.
Below is MLSsoccer.com's tribute video to Beckham.
David Beckham will play his final game for the LA Galaxy at MLS Cup Final 2012, the club announced on Monday evening.
Beckham signed with the Galaxy in 2007 and has spent the last six seasons with LA. During his tenure, LA reached the MLS Cup Playoffs four times, reached the MLS Cup three times and won the trophy once in 2011. LA will play for back-to-back trophies on Dec. 1 when they take on the Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy midfielder will be available to the media tomorrow.
"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career," Beckham said in a release. "I don't see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future."
"In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year," Beckham added. "I've been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've had from fans in L.A. and across the States. Soccer's potential has no limits in this wonderful country and I want to always be part of growing it."
Beckham, who made his first appearance for the LA Galaxy on July 21 in a World Football Challenge match with Chelsea will end his tenure with the Galaxy having seen expoential growth in MLS since he joined. Since Beckham signed with MLS in 2007, MLS has added seven expansion teams while seeing growth in attendance numbers as well as television contracts.
“When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived. David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the LA Galaxy and the League.”
In the statement, President and CEO of AEG Tim Leiweke also addressed Beckham's departure.
“Seldom does an athlete redefine a sport and David not only took our franchise to another level but he took our sport to another level,” said Leiweke in a statement. “It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of his world, and more importantly, to have him be a part of ours.”
What are your thoughts on the news? What is your favorite memory of Beckham?
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