David Beckham signs off LA Galaxy life with 'old feeling' of winning

 

Los Angeles

Draped in a Union flag and the Stars and Stripes as he left the pitch, David Beckham finished his Major League Soccer career as a winner. Mission accomplished after six seasons in the United States, but as the former England captain plots his next move, discussions are underway to ensure that his last match with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday was not a Hollywood ending.

As The Independent revealed last week, negotiations are taking place between Beckham and the Galaxy that are set to see him buy a 25 per cent stake in the franchise. He has an option to purchase an expansion club at a knock-down rate, but that excludes New York, the league's next target.

MLS and AEG, the Galaxy's owners, would prefer to keep the Beckham bandwagon rolling now. Even if based abroad in the coming year, he could still act as an ambassador and recruiter for the Galaxy.

The AEG president, Tim Leiweke, said last week that Beckham had already started – he is trying to persuade Kaka to leave Real Madrid and join the Galaxy as his replacement. "David has done the yeoman's work on our behalf at introducing us, getting him comfortable, getting his family comfortable, talking about LA and the organisation," said Leiweke.

As for the football: where next? The firmest interest has come from Australia, though Beckham still believes he is good enough to feature for a Champions League club and his wife, Victoria, was reportedly house-hunting in London last week.

The only certainty is his desire to continue playing for as long as his body will allow. "The feeling of making the final, the preparation, the feeling around the club — it never gets old," he said after the 3-1 MLS Cup win over Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center. "I'm 37 and I've been able to play in quite a few finals and championship games, and I still love it like I did when I won my first.

"I just hope I've brought a bit of interest to the game. If that's the single thing that I've done, great. But I think the foundations are there now in this league. It will continue to grow."

Houston threatened to spoil the party by taking the lead through Calen Carr shortly before half-time, but an Omar Gonzalez header and penalties from Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane ensured the scoreline reflected the Galaxy's superiority.

It was Beckham's second MLS title –the Galaxy also beat Houston last year. It briefly looked as if he would take the late penalty that made the score 3-1, but he passed on the chance to close his US career with an iconic moment. After an energetic performance replete with his trademark precise passing and set-pieces, Beckham was substituted in injury time to cheers in a stadium filled with banners from fans thanking him for his contribution.

Quite a contrast from as recently as three years ago, when he was heckled and his commitment to MLS was questioned after a loan spell with Milan. But as at Manchester United and Real Madrid, Beckham ended as a champion.

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most