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David Beckham closing his playing days with L.A. Galaxy

Nov 19, 2012, 7:44 PM EST

David Beckham

Nobody should be too shocked about tonight’s massive news out of Southern California that David Beckham has one game remaining in his illustrious six-year run with the Los Angeles Galaxy. We’ve all seen the signs lately.

The Galaxy announced on its website late Monday evening that Beckham, 37, will play his last match for the club on Dec. 1. That night, at the team’s Home Depot Center, the former England captain and his Galaxy teammates will try to defend their MLS Cup title.

Beckham arrived into MLS in 2007; he has easily been the league’s most high-profile figure. By a long, long way.

His performance was typically good, although not always world-class. Then again, importing soccer’s most iconic global figure was never really about Ws and Ls. His arrival here was all about awareness; sellouts were the norm in his first few go-rounds into opposition stadiums, for instance. The real “wins” for MLS were in general market awareness (i.e., outside the soccer follower crowd) and enhanced TV contracts.

Well, that a selling boats full of L.A. Galaxy merchandise around the world.

(MORE: Where the Beckham story goes next … lots of tentacles to this one)

The organization’s release said the Dec. 1 MLS Cup final will “be his final competitive game with the club.” That certainly opens up the possibility that Beckham will perform elsewhere. (Did we dismiss those rumors of Beckham in Australia too quickly?) Given his age and his ongoing injury trouble this year, it’s difficult to see him in uniform in a top level league in Europe.

Then again, as we know, you never say never with Beckham, a man who has always been able to write his own rules.

Here’s the release from the L.A. Galaxy.

We’ll have much, much more on Beckham’s days and night in sunny So Cal. We’ll tell you where the story goes next (hint: lots of places) and we’ll have some thoughts on the timing here; this all comes as his team prepares for its Dec. 1 MLS Cup title defense.

(MORE: We tried to warn you yesterday something like this might happen)

The other interesting angle here is Beckham’s ongoing interest in MLS ownership. He hinted at playing elsewhere and at the ongoing ownership initiative in his quote on the official release:

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. 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.”

(MORE: Beckham absolutely dominates the Daily Soccer Re-set)

  1. dfstell - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    This is probably good timing for everyone. It gets it out of the way now and everyone in LA is used to various levels of Beckham circus.

    On the field, he’s been a really good player the last few years, but the Galaxy haven’t had the people to get on the end of those dangerous crosses the last year or so. I’m sure they can reload with someone else….

  2. pjbowmaster - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Kaka wants in. The Frank Lampard rumors are still out there. I suspect LA Galaxy will be fine……

  3. firewolf777 - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    He’s been good enough for them. Had a great career. Hope he just retires doesn’t try and bounce around.

  4. csilojohnson - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Does anyone really care?

    • Steve Davis - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      Well, seeing as this news is splashed across every news platform from CNN to SI.com and all points in between, I guess they do. (And in the future, if YOU don’t care, you might try to avoid soccer web sites, my friend.)

  5. east96st - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    He’s going to announce that he’s going to Columbus since it’s always been his dream to play for a strategic genius and inspirational leader like Robert Warzycha. Yeah, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face. I think Becks spends more money on personal grooming products than the Crew does on payroll.

  6. florida727 - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    I’m not a huge soccer fan, but have to admit Beckham has made me watch more. It’s a great game and even though in the USA it’ll never rival basketball, football (the other version), baseball, or even hockey in popularity, the thing I’ve noticed more and more as I watch is that it’s more a “thinking man’s” sport. If you focus on the nuances of the sport and not just the “scoring”, it’s really an incredible sport to watch. In America we’ve always been caught up in the final outcome instead of just appreciating the skills/talent of the competitors. It’s too bad soccer hasn’t expanded into the national conscience here like it has around the world. It’s an amazing game, and Beckham is certainly one of its best players ever.

    • wfjackson3 - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      Your comment is riddled with inaccuracy. Game attendance already outpaces the NBA and NHL. It is really shortsighted to suggest that it will never rival other sports for attention in this country.

  7. bozorocks - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    The guy was so OVER RATED anyways, why would anyone care . . David, care to comment ?

  8. mkbryant3 - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I’m not a huge fan of the guy, but his positive impact on the league is undeniable. Plus, the guy shows his competitive fire in every game he plays, unlike some DPs past and present. That alone is saying something.

  9. toosano - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I thought he quit 5 years ago!

  10. footballer4ever - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Gotta laugh at them soccer haters….each year that goes by, their hating repertoire diminishes more and more. Either way, keep on hating because your hating won’t stop football’s growth in the USA!!!

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