Beckham bows out, hailed as turning point for MLS

Sat Dec 1, 2012 11:01pm EST
 
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By Simon Evans

CARSON, California (Reuters) - David Beckham's L.A. Galaxy team-mates urged him to stay on for another year after they won their second successive MLS Cup on Saturday, and while their hopes will surely be in vain, the reaction epitomized the affection in which he has come to enjoy.

A chant of 'one more year' rang out from the Galaxy locker-room as the players celebrated their win after Beckham's final game in Major League Soccer.

"We were telling David that we wanted him for one more year," said defender Todd Dunivant. "We said that last year too and we got it, so why not push our luck a little bit? We will see what happens."

Beckham, however, has been adamant that now is the right time for him to end his time as a player in MLS and enjoy one more challenge, with so far an unnamed team, before returning to MLS in an ownership role.

His coach Bruce Arena said he was sure the former England captain, who has won league titles in his homeland with Manchester United and in Spain with Real Madrid before two titles with Galaxy, would find success.

"Many would think it is the last chapter, I think David thinks there is another chapter and if there is it is probably going to be another great championship," he said.

But while Beckham's passing, set-pieces and influence on his Galaxy team-mates have all been ingredients in the past six years that have pleased Arena, it has been the midfielder's off field impact which has delighted many in the States.

"Twenty years from now we are going to look at this league and still talk about David Beckham as the one who helped turn us," said Arena.   Continued...