CARSON, Calif. -- On Monday, Nov. 19, a day after advancing past the Seattle Sounders to the MLS Cup final, the LA Galaxy sent out a press release shortly after 4 p.m. PT. It announced that the final will be David Beckham's last competitive game with the Galaxy.
The timing meant that speculation about the English midfielder's future will roar to a climax in the two weeks heading into the final against the Houston Dynamo.
"I've been thinking about it for a few months," David Beckham said. "I came to my final decision a few weeks back. It was just before we were going into the playoffs, so I felt it wasn't the right time to announce it. But now, reaching the MLS Cup final – an MLS Cup final that's going to be in our stadium again, in front of our own fans – I just felt it was the right time to announce that."
Landon Donovan said he learned of Beckham's decision shortly before the second leg in Seattle. Bruce Arena officially told the team on Tuesday morning.
"They gave me a bit of an applause this morning, and they gave me a bit of abuse as well," Beckham said, smiling.
Arena would only reveal that he knew "before yesterday." Donovan brushed aside worries that the hubbub would distract from the Galaxy's preparation for the MLS Cup final.
"Obviously they're very aware of their timing and how they're announcing it and when," Donovan said. "For us it doesn't change anything. This team is very used to having a lot of attention on it. It's all part of it. I actually think it's probably a good thing."
"It's great that it brings closure to David's tenure with the Galaxy and in MLS," Arena said. "I think it'll contribute to a great day. I think it will make for a fabulous event."
After the final, Beckham said he'll sit down and sort through a handful of “interesting” options throughout December. "Everyone will know by probably the New Year," Beckham said.
Before then, of course, there's the small matter of trying to repeat as MLS Cup champions.
"I was actually quite emotional after the game in Seattle because obviously it was the last game in a different stadium in my career here with the Galaxy," Beckham said. "So it was quite emotional the other night. I've got a feeling that it's going to be even more so next Saturday."
Follow ZAC LEE RIGG on or shoot him an email