Galaxy's David Beckham on returning to L.A. next season [Video]
It was Sunday evening and the Galaxy has just won their third Major League Soccer championship.
Amid celebration and proclamations of vindication by David Beckham at a news conference in a crowded and sweaty room at Home Depot Center, the topic of conversation kept returning to the same subject: What will become of the world's most popular soccer star?
Beckham's five-year contract with the Galaxy expires next month. He may return to the team, he may leave to play for another -- either in MLS or elsewhere -- or he may retire.
"I need to sit back and relax and enjoy this moment and then decide what I'm going to do," Beckham said.
Reporters tried in vain to get inside Beckham's head.
Are the reports hinting that you will leave the Galaxy wrong? Has your experience with MLS been what you had hoped it would be?
Beckham would not bend.
"I might talk in past tense every now and again, but it doesn't mean I'm not coming back," he said. "At the end of the day I need to decide what's best for me and what's best for the team and my family."
We all know what would be best for the team.
Since Beckham's arrival in Los Angeles in 2007, the Galaxy's annual revenue has tripled and the MLS has become a fixture on soccer's map.
Beckham started in 29 MLS games this season and finished second in the league in assists. On Sunday he played a major role in the team's winning goal. He headed the ball to Robbie Keane, who passed the ball to Landon Donovan, who guided the ball through the net in the Galaxy's 1-0 victory over Houston.
Regardless of what Beckham's future holds, he's certainly earned the respect of Los Angeles, his team and his coach, Bruce Arena.
"Whatever he decides to do, I support it 100%," Arena said. "If he decides to get on his horse and ride into the sunset and go elsewhere, retire -- I'm all for it. He's earned it."
-- Melissa Rohlin