Monday, December 3, 2012

David Beckham leads Los Angeles Galaxy to second straight MLS Cup win

David Beckham’s final season with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS) was arguably his best. Beckham scored seven goals and added nine assists this season and helped the club win its second consecutive MLS Cup. Beckham left the field for the last time in a Galaxy uniform on Dec. 1 after the team beat the Houston Dynamo 3-1 at Los Angeles’ Home Depot Center to wrap up the championship. The Galaxy also beat Houston last year to win the title. It was Los Angeles’ fourth league championship in eight cup final games, which equals a MLS record.

Beckham announced recently that he was leaving the team after this, his sixth season in MLS, and will be looking for a new adventure to finish off his career. There are numerous teams interested in his services and he’s been offered the chance to play in places such as China, Australia, France, Russia, and England. The 37-year-old former Manchester United, England, and Real Madrid midfielder said he would likely make up his mind by January at the latest.

The win over Houston took place in front of about 31,000 lively fans at the Galaxy’s home field. It was a back and forth affair which saw Los Angeles fight from behind to grab the victory. Houston had taken a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute when Calen Carr scored from the right side of the pitch after breaking free of Galaxy defenders. Houston came out n the second half looking to add to their lead, but Los Angeles turned the table on them in the 61st minute when defender Omar Gonzalez, the man of the match, scored n a header to tie the game 1-1.

The Galaxy went ahead just four minutes later when Landon Donovan blasted home a penalty kick. The Galaxy sealed the win during injury time when striker Robbie Keane also converted a penalty. For Keane, who had 16 goals in the regular season, it was his league-leading sixth playoff marker. Many in the crowd though Beckham might take the final penalty to end his six years in the league with a goal, but he told Donovan that he should take it and Donovan in turn told Keane he should take the penalty. Beckham said he wasn’t concerned with scoring a goal as he just wanted to make sure the team won the game.

After Keane made it 3-1 Beckham was taken off the field with just seconds to go and replaced with a substitute, the crowd gave him a standing ovation with many of them singing his name. After the game he was joined by his children during the celebrations and he spoke to the crowd via an on-field interview.

He thanked everybody for making him and his family feel welcome in America and said he was happy that he had the chance to contribute to the success of both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Major League Soccer over the past six years.

Ironically, Beckham has won the league title with Los Angeles, Real Madrid, and Manchester United in his final season with each club. He always seems goes out a winner and deservedly so.

Ian Palmer

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