We can finally say the David Beckham experiment in the MLS has been a success. In the final season of his five-year deal Beckham finally delivered the MLS Cup to the Los Angeles Galaxy, as he and fellow superstars Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane led their team to a 1-0 win over the visiting Houston Dynamo in the MLS championship game Sunday night.
Donovan flicked home a perfect through-ball from Keane in the 72nd minute and the Galaxy controlled all aspects of the game in the win. Clearly the best team in the league all year, Los Angeles was destined to win this title. It just had to happen after one of the most dominant seasons by a club in MLS history.
Donovan was named MLS Cup MVP, and the play that set him up for his goal was actually started off a perfectly flicked header by Beckham. Becks and Donovan embraced each other for a long time after the final whistle, with the former English captain lifting the American star off the ground.
It had been six years since the Galaxy had won an MLS Cup, and they suffered a hear-breaking loss to Real Salt Lake in a shootout during the 2009 MLS Cup.
With Beckham and Donovan both at the end of their contracts the question will soon turn to what is next for each of them. Frankly, I think Beckham would remain in the MLS for the right deal. At 36 years old, he knows he can’t be a game-changer in Europe the way he used to be and this was easily his best season in America. He was the MLS Comeback Player of the Year and tied for the league-lead in assists with 14.
While Paris Saint-Germain has serious interest in luring Beckham back to Europe, it’s certainly not a done deal yet. If he does go to Paris it may be for a short stretch – possibly 18 months – with an eye towards returning to Los Angeles and retiring there.
The Galaxy and the MLS will certainly attempt to lure Beckham back to the league for at least another year and I’m sure Donovan will do his best to convince him to return as well.