Donovan reflects on his personal and professional growth since Beckham's arrival

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.”