David Beckham set for "one last challenge" after confirming exit from LA Galaxy
Former England midfielder David Beckham has confirmed he will leave the Los Angeles Galaxy after next month's MLS Cup.
Last Updated: 20/11/12 4:09pm
The 37-year-old will be aiming to end his six-year Galaxy stay in style when they defend their title against the Houston Dynamo on December 1 before seeking to extend his playing career elsewhere.
He told the Major League Soccer 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.
"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."
Although Beckham had an option on his contract, signed in January, for another year with the Galaxy, his decision to leave is no great surprise.
Football Federation Australia last week claimed they had been approached by the former Manchester United star's camp with a view to the player spending a short stint in the A-League, though his spokesman described that as "rubbish".
Wherever he goes, the move will end an eventful career in MLS which saw the midfielder become face of a new era for the sport in North America.
His final game will take place at the Galaxy's own Home Depot Center, where he arrived on the American stage as the first designated player in MLS back in 2007.
Beckham was brought to America as much for the effect of his brand as his on-field ability, and MLS commissioner Don Garber believes he has been successful in helping to grow the sport.
"When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America," he said.
"There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived.
"David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the LA Galaxy and the league."
Beckham's initial contract with the league included a clause allowing him to be involved in owning an expansion team down the line at a reduced rate.