David Beckham Will Play His Final Game with LA Galaxy in 2012 MLS Cup

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2012

Nov 18, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham (23) warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

David Beckham has taken the Los Angeles Galaxy to new heights during his six-year stint with the club, but the time with 37-year-old world football legend is coming to a close for the MLS side.

According to the team's official website, "LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham announced today that MLS Cup 2012 on Saturday, December 1, will be his final competitive game with the club."

Not only did Beckham help the Galaxy capture last year's MLS Cup over the Houston Dynamo, but he also led the team to three championship berths overall. The English star has had a profound impact on the club and the fledgling league as a whole.

The MLS has grown dramatically during Beckham's time in America, having added seven expansion teams to the landscape of the league with the help of Beckham's considerable international star power and profile.

A three-time World Cup veteran for England, Beckham had this to say about his stay in LA:

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. 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.

Beckham has tallied 18 goals and 40 assists in 98 regular-season appearances with the team, good enough for fourth most in club history. He also "set an MLS record by becoming the first player ever to register an assist in five consecutive postseason games, including one in all four of LA’s games during their run to the 2011 MLS Cup championship."

There's no denying Beckham's iconic status in the sport. He didn't necessarily catapult soccer into the most popular sport in America, but he undoubtedly helped make inroads that would have been impossible otherwise. People tend to watch players like him, and those eyes followed him to Los Angeles.

That attention may or may not wane with Beckham's departure. Either way, there's no denying his legacy and contributions with MLS and the Los Angeles Galaxy.