December 1, David Beckham plays his final match for defending champion LA Galaxy when they face the Houston Dynamo at 2012 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center. American icon Landon Donovan might play his last MLS game on Saturday as well.
Beckham’s departure is an historic event, as Major League Soccer’s first-ever designated player completes his contract and moves on. Beckham has said that he wants to continue playing, but will reveal with which club and league that will be by Christmas. Wild rumors have been swirling about where Beckham will play from almost every corner of the globe, from China to England to Australia to France and even to the New York Cosmos in the U.S. second division.
But Beckham is not done with MLS by a long shot. In his original contract, the former England captain arranged a provision where he could buy into ownership of an MLS club – except the New York market – and he intends to fulfill that objective.
“Obviously now I’m finishing playing over the weekend, the ownership part comes into play and it’s something that I’m excited about,” said Beckham in press conference on Thursday. “It’s something that again I think proves my commitment to the league and to whatever club I become part-owner or owner of. I’m excited about that.
I’ll always be committed to the Galaxy in some way because I’ve been here six years and it’s like Manchester United, like Real Madrid it becomes a home for me.”
Read my interview with David Beckham here.
Donovan’s future career uncertain
Additionally, U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) leading striker Landon Donovan, 30, has said that 2012 MLS Cup will be his last game for the Galaxy and for the USMNT for a while, possibly forever. The creative goalscorer battled injuries in 2012 and grew tired of the pressure and scrutiny by the press, despite providing the LA Galaxy with nine goals and a team-leading 14 assists this season.
“With Landon, I think obviously he’s said over the last four, five months a couple times about he’s possibly going to finish this season,” said Beckham. “Landon’s a great player, he’s a great talent. He’s a special talent in this team and a special talent in this country. And he’s still young. So I personally hope that he doesn’t stop playing, because I believe that he’s still got a good few years left in him.
Whether he needs a break, whether he need to just step away from the game for a while and then come back, but 30 years old is still young.”
Both Donovan and Beckham are expected to play their hearts out on Saturday at this turning point in their careers.
Read my MLS Cup preview here.
FOLLOW LE EISENMENGER ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK.