On Monday afternoon, Los Angeles Galaxy’s David Beckham announced that he will retire from the team. His final game with the team will be December 1st, as the Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo at Home Depot Center in the MLS Cup Final.
Beckham made no announcement of his future plans, however in the two year contract he signed this past January, has a clause allowing him to be apart of an expansion team ownership group. Beckham plans to take full advantage of that clause and more as he helps the MLS continue to expand.
Beckham who joined the Galaxy in 2007, has spent six seasons with the team, which lead them to three MLS Cup appearances, and a third title in the team’s history in 2011. The defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in a rainy epic battle at Home Depot Center. Beckham looks to end his career on a high note by bringing Los Angeles another MLS Cup title.
“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. Just my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future,” said Beckham.
The signing of David Beckham has opened many door for the sport of soccer in the United States and has allowed the MLS (Major League Soccer) to expand in several cities. Those cities include Montreal, Portland, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Jose and Toronto, to where about 15 of the 19 teams play in specific soccer stadiums. Back in 2007 only five teams played in soccer stadiums.
“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. It has been an honor and privilege to have him be a part of ours,” said Tim Leiweke president and CEO of AEG who also owns the Galaxy.
Attendance at the various stadiums are at an all time high, which also include post season attendance records, with nearly 22,000 attending.
“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. There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived.” said MLS commissioner Don Garber.
Beckham is a world wide icon of soccer, who has won three World Cups, and the most skilled player in England’s history. He then made headlines when he decided to come across the pond and sign with the Galaxy in 2007. As a member of Real Madrid and Manchester United, Beckham made it possible for the MLS to sign international stars such as Rafeal Marquez, Robbie Keane, and Juan Pablo Angel.
Since joining the Galaxy, Beckham has had an impressive MLS career. He has made close to 100 appearances, scored 18 goals, and achieved 40 assist which fourth best in team history. Since 2009 he has started in 16 playoff games, recorded eight assist. Beckham also set an MLS record becoming the first player to register an assist in five consecutive playoff games, which is outstanding.
“In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year. 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,” said Beckham.
I will say it will not be the same next season with Beckham not coming out of that tunnel and taking the field. Beckham has made an impact nationally and internationally that no soccer or sports fan will ever forget.
Farewell Beckham, you have been an awesome ambassador for the game of soccer, especially in the city of Los Angeles.