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Beckham to play in final U.S. match

Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM   |   Comments

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CARSON, Calif., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Soccer star David Beckham was set to play his final match for the Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday in the MLS championship match in California.

The Galaxy and Dynamo Houston faced the potential of rain at the Home Depot Center in Carson where Beckham will end his MLS career regardless of the outcome.

The game will also end a potentially pivotal period for the league that has seen the popularity of soccer rise sharply in the United States.

Beckham, a native England who was twice runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and helped teams in England and Spain to league titles, joined the Galaxy in 2007 in a move seen as a major boost to the credibility of U.S. soccer. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said that goal was largely accomplished.

"I don't believe we are going to be hurting when David leaves," Garber told The Washington Post. "David helped to get us to a point and we are going to take it from that point and go even higher and not look back."

The Los Angeles Times, however, noted it wasn't Beckham alone who elevated the popularity of the Galaxy and the MLS in general. While he helped the Galaxy to an MLS title last year, Beckham was never named the league MVP and spent significant time either recovering from injuries or playing on loan with Italy's AC Milan.

Beckham, 37, may be leaving the United States but he probably won't be retiring, The New York Times said. Beckham plans to look for a new opportunity but has not yet announced his future plans.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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