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David Beckham Sings Swan Song, Leaves LA Galaxy at 37

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Photo by Todd Pierson via Shutterstock
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What began as an illustrious career in 1992 in Manchester, UK will turn another page for David Beckham on December 1, 2012. The LA Galaxy midfielder announced that the MLS Cup Final against the Houston Dynamo will mark his last competitive match for the Galaxy after six years with the club. Beckham did reveal, however, that he wants to "experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career,'' according to City News Service, hinting that the MLS Cup may not be his last game in the sport. Beckham's 2007 transfer to the LA Galaxy from Spanish giants Real Madrid was the first signing under the Designated Player Rule, which allows clubs to breach their salary cap requirements to sign star players from overseas. The Designated Player Rule has been widely termed the "Beckham Rule," since his 2007 transfer.

Beckham's tenure with the Galaxy and in the MLS represented an ambassadorial relationship, placing the Englishman at the forefront of a sport often met with ambivalence in the United States. But throughout his time on and off the pitch in L.A., Beckham helped soccer reach new levels of popularity in the states.

"In my time here, I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year," Beckham said to reporters on Monday. "I've been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've had from fans in LA and across the States."

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber spoke highly of Beckham saying, "there is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived."

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The Galaxy will meet the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Final for the second year in a row. Last year, the Galaxy won off a Landon Donovan strike in the 72 minute. The assist came from David Beckham.