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MLS Cup will be Beckham's final game with the Galaxy

David Beckham has spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and now it looks like his sixth season will be his last.

The Galaxy announced on Monday that the 2012 MLS Cup Final will be his final match for the Galaxy.

“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,” Beckham said. “I don’t see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future.”

Beckham has helped lead the Galaxy to the MLS Cup Final in three of his six seasons with the club, and will look to guide the team to a second straight championship when they face the Houston Dynamo on Dec. 1st at Home Depot Center.

Nowhere in the Galaxy’s released announcement of Beckham’s departure did it say the 37-year-old midfielder was retiring though, so now the question becomes just where will be play next.

His time with the Galaxy started out slowly, with the team struggling during his early years, but since the arrival of Bruce Arena as head coach the Galaxy have enjoyed a dynasty-like run, with Beckham playing a key role during that run.

Beckham has also helped bring plenty of attention to MLS during his six years with the Galaxy, drawing international attention to the league and attracting mainstream attention to MLS.

“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,” said Tim Leiweke, President and CEO ofAnschutz Entertainment Group. “It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of his world, and more importantly, to have him be a part of ours.”

What do you think of the news? Surprised to see him leaving the Galaxy? Where do you see him going next? England? Australia? Scotland? The New York Red Bulls?

Share your thoughts below.

124 comments
  • Eugene

    Where he’s going is exactly what I came here to find out! So what’s the rumor, Australia?

    Like

      • Rob218

        At no point did he say he was retiring. The article said he was excited to be involved in ownership within the league in the future. Which has nothing to do with retiring.

        Like

      • Mark

        And exactly where does it say he is retiring from the sport? I see where it says that he wants “one last challenge”, which I take to mean he wants to play in a new league. Did you miss that?

        Like

      • Jason B

        Where does he say he’s retiring?

        He said “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,”

        Which to me means that he’s going to close out his playing career somewhere else.

        Like

      • JRP

        “I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career.” I read this as meaning the final game will be the final. Am I wrong?

        Like

      • JRP

        I guess it could be read that he is going somewhere else as well. Maybe I am the only one who read it that way. My bad.

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      • Jason B

        My understanding of his comment was that his next challenge will be his last.

        Like

      • AzTeXan

        Growing the Australian League will be hard. When you google “a league” it suggests “of their own.” They have ten teams in eight cities. Average attendance is 14,319 so far this season but was only 8,393 as recently as the 2010/11 season. If I was him I’d just join the Cosmos.

        Like

      • Josh D

        MLS wasn’t far from those stats when he came. Beckham will ensure they sell out each stadium and his 10 game stint there will raise the profile of the league. Basically, he’ll do what he did for MLS – just with less time.

        Like

  • JRP

    Love him and hate him, but for the most part he is a pretty (pun) classy guy. When RSL won the cup against them he dressed and then waited outside RSL’s locker room to congratulate the team on the victory. Wish him luck.

    Like

  • Dax

    Kaka in January anyone?

    Followed by Marcelo Saragosa traded from DC United to LA Galaxy I presume.

    Like

      • Elite Hunting

        That logic is flawed. Just because you don’t spend money on a specific player doesn’t mean that money goes somewhere else in the organization – most notably youth development. An investment in a high profile player ultimately benefits youth development by bringing more money back into the club through other avenues.

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      • baropbop

        Why develop talent when you can just buy it? High profile players are essential to the league.

        Like

      • soccerhorn

        Frankly so does LA. While they have the luxury of being able to afford three quality dp’s, don’t forget how many development projects are starters for the Galaxy, including 3/4 of their back line.

        Like

  • Clayton

    Job well done, Becks. Nobody has given him the credit he deserves for what he has done here. Good luck in MLS Cup – baller.

    Like

  • THomas

    I did not expect this. I thought he would ride out in mls. Maybe he wants to head back to England for a year or two. Man united has had success with aging stars. That wouldn’t surprise me if he goes there in January.

    Like

    • David JS

      Thomas- You bring up a really interesting idea that I hadn’t considered (re: United)… to be honest he might be able to crack their midfield rotation, crazy as that seems. Fletcher, Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, Cleverley, Becks- pick 2? His skill would certainly be sufficient for when the team wants to play long diagonals to Valencia/Young, longballs to Welbeck, or chip a ball over the top to van Persie or Rooney. Only question would be has he lost too much pace and athleticism to cope in a 2-man midfield even with say Carrick or Anderson covering for him. And, if he really is past it at that level, Fergie always has the option of just augmenting the coaching staff to include Becks in some capacity or him moving upstairs to a more figurehead position. It would be cool to see him try it…

      Like

    • Davy Crockett

      I could see him playing a season or two, then taking his ownership option on the Cosmos as they become the long-rumored 2nd NY franchise. It almost makes too much sense.

      Like

      • Bobb

        Beckham will not get his discount on a New York or LA team.
        I predict Miami,San Diego, or Las Vegas for Beckham’s MLS team, those are the “most Beckham-y” markets without teams.

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      • David JS

        Pretty much everything in MLS is subject to change, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the clause in his original contract about owning a team in LA/NY somehow doesn’t make a different in the end. The league knows having his brand around a big market here is very valuable, and that his presence draws a lot of eyeballs from ‘casual’ US fans & media, even if it is as an owner.

        Like

      • Hal

        Cosmos don’t want in MLS.

        They would lose too much of control over their club and their branding.

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      • Paul E

        Galaxy is up for sale. I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls a Magic and gets part ownership.

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      • soccerhorn

        unfortunately it’s not just the Galaxy that’s up for sale, it’s all of AEG. Price tag will be in the billions. Too rich even for Sir David I’m afraid. He’ll need a prince or two to throw in with him.

        Like

  • whoop-whoop

    I’m not much for cloaking a team with one star player, let alone an entire league and was a bit of a skeptic when he was first signed, but the guy has undoubtedly given MLS a boost in credibility when they really needed it. Whatever you think of his commercially driven image…. he leaves it all on the field and still cares/plays with passion even at this point in his career when it would be all too easy to cruise. The man loves the game… that I can respect!!!! And…… I am still astounded/marvel at the quality of his set pieces and laser guided passes put on a boot from 50 yards.

    Like

    • Gary Page

      My sentiments exactly. There were a lot of skeptics, but he proved them wrong. I think he was worth it to the Galaxy and the league.

      Like

    • beachbum

      ^^^what these guys said

      the guy is a ballplayer and as tough-arse a competitor as I’ve seen. will miss him when he’s gone and wish him all the best.

      but one more game first baby!!!

      Like

    • chris_thebassplayer

      I watched him warm up before the playoff game at Buck Shaw. Every single cross field ball was inch perfect…unbelievable technique striking the ball…jaw dropping to see that level of skill up close. Needless to say, I won’t miss his free kicks.

      Like

      • primoone

        It isn’t his fault. The guy has had one too many concussions. I guess you can say he is mentally disabled.

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      • AzTeXan

        Yeah, making fun of Twellman is like complaining about Troy Aikman’s NFL commentary. It’s not easy to be coherent when you have scrambled brains.

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      • baropbop

        all that aside. He works for ESPN, he clearly has contacts in the league, why would he just randomly throw something like this out there? I’m not sure about Lampard, but I believe 2/3 of it

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      • Bobb

        Twellman has retweeted fake rumors from obviously fake Twitter accounts before as if they are facts. You are giving him WAY too much credit, as if “He works for ESPN, he clearly has contacts in the league” and “he’s a complete f’ing idiot” are mutually exclusive.

        Like

      • David JS

        in other tweets he was specific about the Red Bulls, for what it’s worth

        Like

  • ben

    I’d put money on him going to Oz. There is reportedly an offer already on the table from one team and about 5 others showing interest. Love to see him on my Sky Blues with Del Piero but I think that’s a pipe dream (plus, SFC needs all the defensive help they can get and Becks doesn’t help at all there).

    Like

  • Beto

    Signs with the nasl cosmos, take that to the bank!

    Seriously, his time in mls was increadible. Ups and Downs but he earned his salary and some.

    Like

  • Mike

    He’ll be a member of NYRB next season. Posh is already looking at houses and school in the metro area apparently.

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    • soccerhorn

      Apparently? Where’d you get this tidbit of trivia? London Daily Mail society gossip pages?

      Like

      • baropbop

        she visited some catholic school a couple weeks ago. this has been circulating a while

        Like

      • soccerhorn

        oh a catholic school? and the rumor is old? well then it must be true. Once again, I stand corrected.

        Like

  • Joe+G

    I was so looking forward to watching the Beckham boys teasing us by claiming love for the US while accepting call-ups from the English U-xx’s.

    Like

  • ben in el cajon

    I suspect he’ll go to China. Red Bulls or Australia are also good, depending on his family’s desires, but two years in China would be great education for his kids.

    Like

  • soccerhorn

    When he showed up in LA, I was thoroughly prepared to hate this guy as a pompous, arrogant crybaby phoning it in and collecting an obscene paycheck. Then I watched him play for the past six years. Dude plays with fire and heart, not to mention the sweetest right foot anyone’s ever seen. Thanks David, I’m a fan.

    ps: but for the love of GOD don’t go to NYRB. THAT would be obscene.

    Like

    • Beto

      +1. The opposite of the prima-dona overpaid lazy dp’s that have been too frequent in mls. In fact a great role model

      Like

    • Steve T.

      If you thought he was gonna be a pompous, arrogant, crybaby who phoned it in, you must not have been a fan of his before MLS. Dude fierce competitor no matter what the situation.

      Like

      • David JS

        I know it’s sacrilegious, but what the hell I’m gonna do it anyway… I think many people expected Becks to be a “Randy Moss” and were surprised when he ended up being more of a “Larry Fitzgerald”. Please excuse the dreaded American sports fan analogy, I do know how frowned upon it is.

        Like

      • Hutchiemcfly

        Bro i was thinking the same analogy. Excuse me SBI fans i watch other sports too!!!!

        Like

    • Nate Dollars

      well, he is “a pompous, arrogant crybaby”. I do agree that he took mls seriously, contrary to what most people predicted.

      Like

  • eboe

    Who are you guys fooling? Everyone knows he’s gonna be Owner/Player/Coach of the Crew – we dropped Cole Grossman to make room for Becks😉

    Like

  • Bobb

    “Nowhere in the Galaxy’s released announcement of Beckham’s departure did it say the 37-year-old midfielder was retiring though, so now the question becomes just where will be play next.”

    In order from most probable to least:
    1. Beckham owned Miami Strikers
    2. Beckham owned MLS team in San Diego, Las Vegas, etc.
    3. New York red Bulls
    4. China or Australia
    5. He really is retiring

    Playing for his own MLS team makes the most sense, though…

    Like

    • Jason B

      If MLS was adding a team in the next 2-3 years, you and I would know about it. So, he won’t be playing for some team in Miami, San Diego, or Las Vegas that doesn’t exist yet.

      Like

    • Number Ten

      Echoing Jason B…your comment makes no sense. There will not be a new team in MLS in 2013. If DB is in MLS it will be with an existing club, but I suspect he won’t be in the league at all.

      Like

  • AMPhibian

    he is certainly not retiring. while i think it is the perfect year for him to move along wherever he wishes, i wish he would have held out on this announcement until after the season.

    Like

  • Sergio

    Inside word is that he will very likely be playing for NASL’s Atlanta Sillygorillas. Wynalda will be scouting him at MLS Cup.

    Like

  • primoone

    All you are dreaming if you think Becks is going to play for another MLS team. The challenge he took on was to bring exposure, growth to MLS while winning cups (2 against Houston) with a Large Market team. Check and Check . What would motivate him to do it all over again in the same Country? Not happenning…China or Down Under.

    Like

  • bottlcaps

    Paging Frank Lampard! Paging Frank Lampard!

    or Didier Drogba
    or
    KaKa

    Or many of the other stars who have all expressed interest in playing for the LA Galaxy

    Send your resume and salary requirements to:

    LA Galaxy
    Geriatrics Unit
    c/o Bruce Arenas
    HDC
    Carson Ca.90747

    Like

  • Limey

    Can’t be an MLS team, China would be my guess, maybe PSG? Honestly I know nothing I thought he was going to stay at the Galaxy for one more year. Oh well onward and upward

    Like

  • slowleftarm

    He’s been great for MLS and soccer in our country. Thanks Becks for everything. Not a Galaxy supporter but hoping he ends his career here with another MLS cup.

    Like

  • phil

    The weird thing was that it was only a guest stint being discussed for an A-league club, not a full time move. But its hard to see what challenge he would get playing in Australia. Such a small market that doesn’t offer anything really for Brand Beckham.

    Something tells me he wants to retire playing in England or Europe. It was pretty clear Beckham moved to MLS too early in his career, that why he kept going for loan deals, I think he misses the day to day life that soccer in England and Europe entails. As big as he was in the USA, he was still playing in a league that most Americans ignore.

    I think the challenge he wants is to prove to himself that he could cut it on the biggest stage still.

    Like

    • Helium-3

      You really are short sighted when re:A-League’s market. They play in the Asian Champions League. Do you know how much revenue from merchandising they could get from markets in Japan and China?

      Even if it was a 1 year deal, the revenue from merchandising will more than pay for his salary.

      Plus, Australia (Sydney or NSW) is a great place to live, if he is used to the lifestyle in SoCal.

      Like

  • baropbop

    The worst thing that could happen is he goes to AUS or China. They are following the MLS model and really the main competition the MLS faces at this stage for general growth. Having him leave MLS for another growing league would be a big red flag for other players considering an MLS future.

    That being said I think he will be a Red Bull. It’s going to be a couple years before any new teams pop up and he isn’t going to wait. He will be in NY or Europe. There have been lots of signs that he’s heading to NY for a while now.

    Like

    • Bolt

      Yeah, kind of like when he signed for MLS, it was a big red flag for players considering La Liga. Just look at all the massive names that chose MLS since Beckham came here.

      Like

  • Steve T.

    Twellman said he will be in NY, not playing for RBNY. Becks’ last challenge is raising the profile of the newly formed NY Cosmos, getting the new flushing stadium approved by charming its opposition, and then joining the ownership group and then living happily ever after. Book it.

    Like

    • Hal

      NASL does not want to join MLS.

      They would have to give up too much control of their club. It goes against their business plan. They want to sign the players they want and not be told by the league who they can sign and who they can’t.

      I don’t know why so many people think the Cosmos are joining MLS.

      Like

      • Old School

        “I don’t know why so many people think the Cosmos are joining MLS.”

        Cosmos need MLS as much as MLS need the Cosmos brand.

        Frankly, despite the Cosmos having name recognition, it’s largely irrelevant on a global scale if they’re playing a second division (without promotion/relegation) in an obscure league…even within this country.

        If you think they’ll a new stadium, incredible merchandise sales and marquee players are going to flock to the Cosmos in the NASL, you’re so far out of touch that trying to explain why people think Cosmos will eventually join MLS is largely pointless.

        Like

  • el paso tx wants NASL

    Wowsers, becks is a smart bitch and I always thought he would join red bull not a as DP or play for cosmos and be part of the ownership but he won’t go for d2. I say he plays for manu or tottenham but red bull and cosmos are too good to let go. Anyways, what about psg? He has played in spain, england,usa, italy and maybe now france or germany or even red bull…..lol

    Like

  • TexAg

    I thought the rumor was a NYC based team. Supposedly the wife was looking for good schools for the kids in the city a few months ago. Would definitely help his and her other TV-type goals.

    Like

  • Ceez

    I think he’s staying here in the States.

    Even though I would like to see him close out his career with Man U, he did reject a bid from PSG in order to live the family life in the States and keep his kids in a stable environment. I suspect his last challenge is to see if he can finally bring a title to the Red Bulls. If these Posh/NY/schools rumors are true, then we could very well see him come to my Red Bulls. A part of me tells me I’m just dreaming but then again, there was that rejection of the PSG bid so as not to keep moving his family around the world. If he does move overseas, then his claim of not wanting to move his family yet again was just a bunch of BS.

    Am I wrong?

    Like

  • Al17

    Nothing but the HIGHEST RESPECT for him. I felt that way about him when he came to the league and feel the same for him now. Curious to see where he’s headed off to play and the money for his services is going to be MAD. Japan? China? Dubai? Qatar? Brasil? Australia?
    This is gonna be fun to watch. He definitely put MLS on the Global Map.

    Like

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  • Spacemonkey

    Watching Becks drop those perfect crosses in front of Henry in the box would be a sight! Not buying it until it is really done though…

    Like

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