Boo. It’s the sad news that Los Angeles soccer fans have been dreading is finally nigh. David Beckham has announced that he will leave the LA Galaxy soccer team at the completion of the MLS Cup championship. As you may know, Becks moved his entire family to LA back in 2007 to play professional soccer for the LA Galaxy and he enjoyed a very successful career here. Sadly, it sounds like Becks’s career is coming to an end and, therefore, it is time for Becks to plan his exit.
David Beckham announced Monday that he would leave the Los Angeles Galaxy after the M.L.S. Cup championship Dec. 1, ending a six-year run in Major League Soccer that raised the league’s profile, if not its level of play. Beckham, 37, won his first league championship last season in the final game of his groundbreaking (and at the time somewhat controversial) five-year contract with M.L.S. He then turned down overtures from Paris St.-Germain to sign a new two-year deal to return to the Galaxy, though it now appears he will only serve out half of it. “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 in a statement released by the team. “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. 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. Soccer’s potential has no limits in this wonderful country and I want to always be part of growing it” … It is unclear if Beckham’s departure from the Galaxy signals the end of his time as a player; it is notable that in praising his time in Los Angeles, he said he “wanted to experience one more challenge before the end of my playing career.” He has long been clear about his interest in owning a team in the league — M.L.S. continues to push ahead with opaque plans for a second team in New York.
Altho Becks has not yet announced if he is completely done playing professional soccer, I have to believe the end is very near. Becks has enjoyed a very successful soccer career here in LA (what with winning that MLS Championship trophy last year) and my guess is that he will want to end his career on a high note. Honestly, this is bummer news for me but … as long as the Beckham family continues to live here in LA, I guess I can’t be too broken-hearted. We know that Becks has other lucrative endeavors to keep himself bizzy so … the announcement of his departure is sad but not devastating. Becks is not leaving the public stage … but, sadly, he is leaving the professional soccer stage, at least here in LA … for good :(