David Beckham says MLS Cup will be his last match with L.A. Galaxy

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A day after the defending champion L.A. Galaxy reached their second straight MLS Cup final, David Beckham announced that the match will be his last competitive appearance for the club despite having another year left on his contract.

Beckham signed a two-year contract extension in January after his initial five-year deal expired at the end of last year when L.A. won their first MLS Cup since he arrived. In 2012, Beckham has had his most productive season in MLS, scoring seven (often magnificent) goals and setting up five others in 28 matches. But in the last week, rumors of the 37-year-old midfielder making a move to Australia's A-League spread and were quickly denied by his spokesperson.

Now that he's moving on from the Galaxy, the A-League switch could still be a possibility, but he could also go to another MLS club (New York?) or just about anywhere else in the world that wants to sell David Beckham shirts. Of course, this announcement comes shortly after Snoop Lion declared his interest in buying into Celtic and bringing Beckham to the Scottish champions. Coincidence? Definitely. Even if he does leave the U.S., whether it be for Snoop's fantasy land or a situation that's actually based in reality, he's not completely turning his back on MLS.

From the Galaxy's official website:

"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA 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."

[Also: Clint Dempsey named U.S. Soccer's 2012 Male Athlete of the Year]

Owning a piece of an MLS club has always been a part of the post-retirement plan for Beckham ever since he first joined the league, but it sounds like that's more of an "I won't forget you, MLS" type of comment than something that will happen in the immediate future. But retirement doesn't sound like it's on Beckham's mind. Just a couple of months ago, he said: "I love the game so I want to continue playing it. I still obviously want to play at a high level. And if I feel that I can't play at that level then I'll try to stop."

Though his contributions on the pitch are often overlooked (114 total appearances, 15 goals, 48 assists and three MLS Cup berths over six season) by those easily distracted by his underwear modeling and cheerleader ogling, his presence in Los Angeles will be difficult to replace. The locals will have a chance to give him a proper send-off on Dec. 1 though, as the Galaxy will once again play Houston for the MLS Cup in front of their home fans at the Home Depot Center.

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