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A Loss For MLS As Beckham To Leave After MLS Cup

David Beckham announced today that the MLS Cup on December 1 will be his last game with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham did not announce his future plans but he has heavily linked in recent weeks to a move with to the Australia A-League. That would surprise me in that his wife is heavily involved in the fashion industry in New York.

Also, the A-League runs from early October to February. which means that Beckham would have to go there straight from the Galaxy, and I don’t know if his body can take playing for 12 straight months anymore.

“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.”

The question will be asked about whether the signing of David Beckham was a successful one for Major League Soccer. I think that is an unqualified yes both on and off the field.

On the field, during Beckham’s six seasons with the Galaxy, he helped lead the club to three MLS Cup berths, including last years championship when they beat the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, at The Home Depot Center. The two teams will again meet for the MLS Cup on Dec. 1, with Beckham hoping to end his MLS career and time in Los Angeles with one more title.

In his six seasons with the Galaxy, Beckham appeared in 98 regular season games, scoring 18 goals and adding 40 assists, good for the fourth most in club history. Beckham has also started in all 16 playoff games that the Galaxy have played since 2009. In that time, he has recorded eight assists, which are the third most in club history. He set an MLS record by becoming the first player ever to register an assist in five consecutive postseason games, including one in all four of the Galaxy’s games during their run to the 2011 MLS Cup championship.

In short, when the games counted Beckham delivered. And that I think is what separates Beckham from the other big names that have came to MLS. He delivered championships’s for the Galaxy. Compare that to what Thierry Henry has done for the Red Bulls.

His impact off the field has been just as successful. Since Beckham signed with the Galaxy on January 2007, seven expansion teams; mMontreal, Portland, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Jose and Toronto, have joined the league, while 15 of the league’s 19 teams now play in soccer specific stadiums, up from five prior to 2007.

Attendance at those stadiums are at unprecedented highs with an average of 18,807 fans attending games during the 2012 MLS regular season and nearly 22,000 fans turning out per game in the postseason. That is the David Beckham legacy.

“When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived. David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the LA Galaxy and the League.”

The bottom line is that fans across the country came out to see Becks play. Whether you were a MLS fanatic or a casual fan, you knew when Beckham and the Galaxy were in town. He is the only player that my mom and wife where impressed that I met and interviewed. And that sums up the impact that David Beckham had in the game in America.