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Beckham Calls It Quits, Last Game Today

The British soccer star will make his final competitive appearance with the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Carson today if you want to make the trip from Laguna Niguel.

If you love soccer, and David Beckham, you might want to make a tip from either Dana Point or Laguna Niguel today to see the star in his final competitive appearance in Carson.

He will appear with the Los Angeles Galaxy in today's MLS Cup 2012 at The Home Depot Center in Carson in an unlikely matchup against the Houston Dynamo.

The 37-year-old Beckham announced on Nov. 19 that the game to decide
Major League Soccer's championship would be his last competitive appearance
with the team because he wants "to experience one last challenge before the
end of my playing career.'"

The former British national team star midfielder married to former Spice Girl Victoria, has declined to disclose what that challenge will be.

"I've got some interesting and exciting options on the table,'' Beckham
told reporters Thursday at The Home Depot Center. "I'm very flattered by
some of the options I've got. I still feel like I can play and I still am not
considering retiring.''

Beckham said, "it will definitely be hard for me to walk away from the
Galaxy because I've gained a lot of friends here on and off the field.''

"We've got an amazing franchise that's run unbelievably well by the
owners, but it's just not about the owners,'' Beckham said.

"It's not about the players and the staff that we've got around us.
We've got amazing fans, we've got amazing back-room staff that do a hell of a
job to get us to where we are today, so I'm going to miss all of them.''

The qualifier about the MLS Cup being Beckham's final competitive game
with the Galaxy could mean he will play with the team on a lucrative overseas
international tour.

Regardless of what's next for him, the MLS Cup won't be ``the end of my
relationship with the league,'' Beckham said.

"My ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future,''
Beckham said.

This will be the third time Beckham has played in the MLS Cup in his six seasons with the Galaxy.

The Galaxy lost to Real Salt Lake in MLS Cup 2009 in Seattle, 5-4 on
penalty kicks after regulation play and overtime ended in a 1-1 tie, with
Beckham assisting on Mike Magee's 41st-minute goal and making his penalty kick in the shootout.

Beckham assisted on Landon Donovan's 72nd-minute goal in a 1-0 victory
over Houston in MLS Cup 2011 at The Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy, which finished fourth in the nine-team Western Conference
with 54 points, is the first beneficiary of MLS' decision last year to have the
team with the better record as the host for its championship game instead of
choosing the site well in advance as it had for its first 16 seasons.

Houston, which finished fifth in the 10-team Eastern Conference with 53
points, was the only team the Galaxy could have played at home in the MLS Cup.

Both teams won knockout round matches, 2-1, with the Galaxy overcoming
an early deficit to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps in its game.

The Galaxy and Dynamo then both defeated conference champions in two-
game, total goals conference semifinal series, with the Galaxy eliminating the
San Jose Earthquakes, who had the league's best regular-season record.

The Galaxy and Houston both won their two-game, total goals conference
finals, 4-2.

"We could play this in Anchorage if they asked us to, (but) playing at
home should be an advantage in an MLS Cup,'' Galaxy coach Bruce Arena told the Los Angeles Times. "We hope it helps us a little bit because we're going to
need all the help we can get."

Laguna Niguel has its own soccer leagues: lnsoccer.com/

--City News Service

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