My Thoughts on the Retirement of David Beckham

Of course, David Beckham would go out on top. It couldn’t end any other way for the English soccer legend.

On Thursday, he announced that he would be ending his illustrious 20-year professional career at the end of the Ligue 1 season next weekend after winning the French Cup and Ligue 1 titles with Paris St. Germain.  Beckham’s announcement ends a career that included champions in four different countries including his two MLS Cup triumphs with the LA Galaxy.

While one can go and on about Beckham’s impact throughout the world and his stops at prestigous clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, the Galaxy, and PSG, I’ll focus briefly on his six-year tenure with the Galaxy. Throughout my own four years covering the LA Galaxy, there were dozens of fine Beckham moments that stick out in my mind, whether it was his performance in LA’s three MLS Cup appearances or his numerous classy goals, but I think what I’ll remember the most is the presence that he had across the country and the world.

There were the trips in CONCACAF Champions League where thousands flocked to see the Galaxy play and families of heads of state jostled for a chance just to catch a glimpse or take a picture with Beckham.  But in the United States as well, Beckham drew packed crowds across MLS, many of whom were eager to ask about my opinion of the English superstar

However, despite all the hoopla and flashbulbs, Beckham remained an ordinary person as all of his teammates can attest. As the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Mike Magee, and Omar Gonzalez reflected on Beckham’s career with the Galaxy each were quick to mention their memories of Beckham as a friend, father as well as a teammate.

And I’d have to agree that, that aspect of Beckham is what sticks out the most in my mind. More often than not, Beckham remained generous to fans on the road as well as media requests despite the constant attention that he received.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Beckham's on the field abilities as his grit and passing vision was second to none in MLS.  As for my favorite goal of his Galaxy tenure, I’d have to select his 35-yeard bomb from LA’s 5-3 win over the Portland Timbers last July. The match, as some of you might remember, served as the first-ever game for the LA Galaxy Insider Blog and proved to be a delight from start to finish.

What Beckham will do now that his playing days are over remains a mystery. Will he jump into ownership of an MLS side –possibly even the Galaxy? — or will he go a different route and focus on his many business interests around the world?  That remains to be seen.

But there is no doubt in my mind that Beckham made a great impact on the Galaxy, MLS and soccer in America as whole.