Beckham ends American adventure with second title

Sat Dec 1, 2012 9:30pm EST
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By Simon Evans

CARSON, California (Reuters) - Leaving the field draped in the Union flag and the Stars and Stripes, David Beckham bowed out of Major League Soccer on a winning note on Saturday as L.A. Galaxy retained their title with a 3-1 victory over Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup final.

An entertaining game in front of a lively, capacity 30,510 crowd, was a fitting way for Beckham to end his six seasons in MLS as he added another title to his collection.

"This is the goal we set ourselves at the start of the season," said Beckham. "It is another special occasion to win a championship at home, in front of our fans and our families."

L.A. had to come from behind after Calen Carr put Houston ahead a minute before the break, breaking free down the Galaxy left and blasting in a near post shot, but the home side took control in the second half.

Defender Omar Gonzalez headed in the equalizer on the hour from a Juninho cross before Landon Donovan converted a penalty five minutes later to give the Galaxy the lead, after Ricardo Clark was ruled to have handled.

Striker Robbie Keane, who had two efforts disallowed, got his reward in injury time when Houston keeper Tally Hall tried to bring him down and the Irishman rose to slot home the penalty.

There was a moment of discussion between regular penalty taker Donovan and Beckham over who would take the kick, with many in the crowd expecting the Englishman to crown his farewell with a goal.

"I told Landon to take it but he said let Robbie take it because he was too tired," explained Beckham.   Continued...

Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham gives a thumbs up to the crowd next to his son Romeo after Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo to win the MLS Cup championship soccer game in Carson, California, December 1, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok