News Column

Beckham Is Still a Team Player

Nov. 21, 2012

By Roxanna Scott

David Beckham

David Beckham gave no indication where he'll play next, but he made it clear he's not ready to retire. And he's still interested in maintaining ties to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

A day after announcing his decision to leave Major League Soccer after six seasons, Beckham wouldn't reveal details on offers he's considering. His last game with the Galaxy will be the MLS Cup on Dec. 1 in Carson, Calif., a chance to win his second league championship.

"I still feel that I have something left in me as a player," he told news reporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday. "I still feel like I have one more challenge in me as a player. Even though I'm 37 years old, I feel I can play at a high level."

Beckham, who scored an MLS career-high seven goals for the Galaxy this season and has played 98 of 176 possible MLS matches in his career, signed a two-year extension in January after an unprecedented five-year, $32.5 million deal brought him to the league. The second year of the extension was a mutual option, he said.

His next team has been a source of wide speculation in the international media in recent weeks. He has been courted by teams in Britain, Australia, China and France.

"I came to the decision solely because I felt I achieved everything I wanted to achieve with the Galaxy on the field and off the field," he said.

His plan is to decide on a new team in December or early next year. He hasn't decided on whether his family -- wife Victoria, sons Brooklyn, 13, Romeo, 10, and Cruz, 7, and baby girl Harper -- will move from their Los Angeles home.

He'll still support his teammates, coach Bruce Arena and AEG President Tim Leiweke, saying he'll attend as many Galaxy games as possible. He didn't rule out that he'd become a part owner of the Galaxy, which is part of the AEG properties up for sale.

When Beckham signed with the team, he spoke of improving the level of play in MLS and changing the perception of the sport nationally.

Tuesday, he pointed to new franchises (seven since 2007), attendance growth (about 6 million this season, nearly double the 2005 total), the league's TV deal with NBC and fan interest as signs that things have changed.

"Whatever team I've played with, there's always been expectations," he said. "Whether I've reached those expectations in people's eyes, that's for other people to decide what my impact was and has been in this league."

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2012

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