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CARSON, Calif. – The fans of the LA Galaxy got one last look at their club on Monday as around 3,500 packed The Home Depot Center Tennis Stadium to honor their MLS Cup 2012 winning side.
The crowd was vocal throughout, chanting “one more year” to David Beckham, who played his final game for the club on Saturday and “ten more years” to Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, who plans to evaluate his future during the offseason.
Beckham and Donovan were among the seven players and staff to give speeches to the crowd including Robbie Keane, Mike Magee, Omar Gonzalez, head coach/general manager Bruce Arena and Vice President Chris Klein.
But the biggest cheers by far went to Beckham and Donovan.
“I apologize and I’m sorry to disappoint, but this is my last year,” said Beckham, who thanked the coaching staff and even the media during his speech which interrupted several times by cheers. “Lastly, I’d like to thank the most important people to me over the last six years, the people that I see every day. Every one of these players are incredible people.”
“I’m very honored and proud to be the captain of this team. I grew up in L.A. so this is home for me,” said Donovan. “For me this is what Manchester United is to David. I’m honored to be in front of you guys, I’m honored to put on the armband every time I go out on the field. I play with 30 very special soccer players and men. I love all you guys like brothers and I appreciate everything that you do for me. Thanks for making these last two years especially, some of the best of my life.”
The entire squad was on hand with just two notable exceptions as winger Christian Wilhelmsson returned to Sweden early to tend to his pregnant wife and goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer who had commitments at a coaching clinic.
Following the hour long program, the players admitted that the event was special after the team was unable to hold any type of celebration after their 2011 MLS Cup title due to postseason tour commitments and the Thanksgiving holiday.
However, the greatest quote of the night came from Klein, who let out a bold statement about the 2012 MLS Cup champions.
“This could be argued, I think you’re looking at, the greatest team in American soccer history.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com