Beckham’s Last Stand?

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham may be hanging up his cleats for good after his team captured the 2011 MLS Cup./Photo/Dennis J. Freeman

By Dennis J. Freeman

Carson, CA-After the Los Angeles Galaxy nailed down the MLS Cup championship with a 1-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, David Beckham didn’t give a hint one way or another to probing reporters if he had played his last game with the team. For that matter, the 36-year-old Beckham wouldn’t even speculate about whether or not he would hang up his cleats for good.

The only thing that Beckham wanted to talk about at the postgame press conference was how much he and his teammates would cherish this win.

“People are always going to speculate,” Beckham said. “People did it the first years I was in Madrid. That’s happened throughout my career. I’ve been an L.A. Galaxy player for the last five years…There’s no rush.  I’m not in a rush to decide what happens. We’re going to enjoy this week. We’ve worked hard to get to this point. So we’re going to enjoy that, kick back and enjoy our rest, enjoy Thanksgiving and then we’ll see. At the moment…I’m going to enjoy tonight.”   

The rumor mill has varied when it comes to Beckham’s decision to come back and play again. Some reports speculate that whether the Galaxy won or lost the title game, Beckham would perhaps announce his retirement. Other media outlets have suggested that the veteran midfielder would come back to play at least one more season with the Galaxy.

Still others have Beckham saying adios to playing soccer for an American team and going back to Europe.

Beckham handled all the inquiries about his future about as well as he handled a torn hamstring he suffered earlier in the week, deftly maneuvering around pointed questions as he moved about Dynamo defenders with the same ease. Whether he stays or goes, coming to Los Angeles has proven to be a good move for his career and his family, Beckham said.

Beckham doing his thing./Photo/Kevin Reece

“There are a lot of options,” Beckham said. “I’m a Galaxy player. I’ve been a Galaxy player for the last five years. I’ve been proud of that. I’ve said during the week that living in California, living in Los Angeles was a dream for us as a family. It’s been exceptional since the day we arrived. Nothing’s changed. So we’re looking to the future here. It’s a great place to be, a great place to bring up my children. As I’ve said before, I need to sit back and relax and enjoy this moment and then decide what I’m going to do.”    

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said whatever decision Beckham makes it would be with his blessings.

“David is a champion,” Arena said. “He slightly strained a hamstring the other day training…It was difficult getting him out there today. We twisted his arm and he played. I’ve been around great athletes and competitors in my life in different sports. He is as good as they come. He has an unbelievable desire to win. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great person. He’s done it all. What more can you say about a guy like this and what he’s brought to the organization? I’m really thrilled for him. He gutted it out tonight. He obviously wanted to be there. My hat is off to David.” 



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