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MLS Cup could be David Beckham's last game with Galaxy [Video]

November 15, 2011 |  6:18 pm

When David Beckham decided to cross over the pond and join the Galaxy in 2007, he dreamed of invigorating Major League Soccer with the passion and zest that the sport sees in Europe.

Within three days, 7,000 fans bought season-ticket packages, according to the Galaxy's president of business operations, Tom Payne.

Said Payne: "It allowed us to have the confidence to consider ourselves and our sport major league in every way."

Yet the Beckham experiment, as many refer to his time with MLS, may soon come to an end.

Beckham's five-year contract expires after this season and he has yet to announce whether he will remain with the Galaxy. In fact, Sunday's MLS Cup could be his final game with the league.

It's a sad prospect for his teammates.

"There's no question that we'd like him to stay and we want him part of the team for years to come. But in the end, it's his decision," said Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter.

It's  a sad prospect for the business side of soccer.

"The Galaxy, the league's marquee franchise, is estimated to be worth more than $100 million, and attendance around the league is way up — this year the MLS regular-season average climbed 7% to 17,872, better than last season's NBA and NHL figures," according to The Times' Kevin Baxter.

And it's a sad prospect for Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena.

"If it wasn't for David, I think we would really be struggling," Arena said. "Yet in the last couple of years we've managed to grow in difficult financial times. It's a tribute to our league and certainly David."

Even though there was uncertainty in the air, the mood at Galaxy practice on Tuesday was far from somber.

After all, Beckham still has some unfinished business.

"The one other thing he needs to accomplish is win an MLS Cup," Arena said.


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-- Melissa Rohlin