David Beckham Leaving L.A. Galaxy

David Beckham L.A. Galaxy - P 2012
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David Beckham L.A. Galaxy - P 2012

The soccer star, whose final game with the club will be the MLS Cup 2012 on Dec. 1, says he's hoping to continue his relationship with the league by becoming "part of the ownership structure."

Soccer star David Beckham said Monday that he is leaving the L.A. Galaxy.

The midfielder said the MLS Cup 2012, which takes place Dec. 1, will be his final competitive game with the club, according to a news release posted on the L.A. Galaxy's website.

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Beckham has spent six seasons with the Galaxy, helping lead team to three MLS Cup berths, including the third championship in club history in 2011 when they beat the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in front of a then-stadium record of more than 30,000.

"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the L.A. Galaxy; however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career," Beckham said. "I don't see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future."

The Galaxy credited Beckham with helping to raise the profile of the team and the league. In his six seasons with the team, he appeared in 98 regular-season games, tallying 18 goals and adding 40 assists -- the fourth most in club history.

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“Seldom does an athlete redefine a sport, and David not only took our franchise to another level but he took our sport to another level,” said Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy. “It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of his world -- and more important, to have him be a part of ours.”

Added MLS commissioner Don Garber: “When David Beckham signed with the L.A. Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America. There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived. David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the L.A. Galaxy and the league.”

The Galaxy will play for the fourth MLS Cup title in club history and their second straight championship when they host the Houston Dynamo on Dec. 1. Kickoff time for the game, which will air live on ESPN and Telefutura, is 1:30 p.m.

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Beckham, who has four children with wife Victoria Beckham, is managed by Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment.