It's official: David Beckham to return to Galaxy for two seasons
"This was an important decision for me," Beckham said in a statement. The English star turned down an 18-month, $18.7-million offer from the French club Paris-St. Germain to return to Major League Soccer. "I had many offers from clubs around the world. However I'm still passionate about playing in America and winning trophies with the Galaxy.
The agreement will be officially announced at a press conference in Los Angeles Thursday.
In deciding to stay with the Galaxy, which signed the former English team captain to a five-year deal in 2007, Beckham put his family's desire to remain in Southern California over the potential to earn millions more in Europe.
"I've seen first-hand how popular soccer is now in the States and I'm committed as ever to growing the game here," Beckham, who turns 37 in May. "My family and I are incredibly happy and settled in America and we look forward to spending many more years here."
Beckham's deal also includes a sabbatical that allows him to leave the Galaxy to play for Britain in this summer's Olympic Games in London, plus he and business manager Simon Fuller have an option to own a future MLS expansion team.
Beckham's record $32.5-million contract with the Galaxy expired on Dec. 31, six weeks after he led the team to an MLS Cup victory. That capped the most productive season of his short MLS career; he played 26 games and recorded 15 assists, the second-highest total in the league.
That won him Comeback Player of the Year honors.
"I am thrilled that David has chosen to re-join the Galaxy," Galaxy Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said. "He was one of the best players in all of MLS last season and we could not have achieved the success that we did without him."
-- Kevin Baxter
Photo: Galaxy midfielder David Beckham. Credit: Quin Rooney / Getty Images