For better or for worse, David Beckham's time in Los Angeles could soon be coming to an end, as the highly recognizable English star might play his final match in MLS on Nov. 20, when the Galaxy meet Houston in the MLS Cup at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Beckham, 36, has not stated whether he will return for another season, as his contract is set to expire, and he reportedly has offers to play for Paris St. Germain and Tottenham. Galaxy manager Bruce Arena recently stated that he believes the chances are 50-50 that Beckham stays with Los Angeles.
Whether Beckham's time in Los Angeles has been a success is a matter of opinion. For many, he created the type of buzz the league needed to attract casual fans. To others, he failed to bring a title to an organization that has been among the most successful in the still relatively young league.
Though Los Angeles is known for movie stars and musicians, when it comes to sports, the fans expect results. When Mexican star Luis Hernandez played for the Galaxy, a large segment of the club's fanbase showed little interest, as some questioned the striker's work ethic, and viewed him as a disappointment for his inability to bring the club an MLS title.
Beckham, who won domestic titles with Manchester United and Real Madrid, can bring one to the Galaxy, as Los Angeles are favorites against the Dynamo. Against Kansas City, star left wing Brad Davis went down with an injured right quadriceps in the first half will miss the Final, dealing a heavy blow to a club that won just 12 games in the 34-game season.
Though the Galaxy will still be without Jamaican-international goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, backup Josh Saunders has done an admirable job in his place. Arena has received strong efforts from centre back Omar Gonzalez, and forwards Mike Magee and Robbie Keane, who has done a fine job fitting in with his new club.
The Galaxy will have a rested Landon Donovan for the match, as the attacking midfielder will skip international matches to focus on the title. Arena will also have a motivated Beckham. If the MLS Cup is, in fact, Beckham's last game with the Galaxy, he will make every effort to go out a winner.
Though the famed midfielder lacks the athleticism he once had when he played for Sir Alex Ferguson, the passing skills are still there. Los Angeles fans continue to see the perfectly executed crosses that have been Beckham's trademark, as well as some sublime free kicks.
Beckham has been involved in some contentious situations in Los Angeles, as some questioned whether he prefered his loan spells for AC Milan more than his time with the Galaxy. He also battled injuries, and some criticism that he was only a truly effective for the Red Devils.
Many L.A. fans may choose to ignore some of the rough patches Beckham may have endured since his arrival in 2007, and remember the crosses, goals and enthusiasm he brought not just to the Galaxy supporters, but rather to a collection of loyal and demanding fans throughout the nation. There had never been a player with quite so much fame to ever play in the league, and Galaxy fans were able to witness it first hand.
When Beckham walks through the tunnel at HDC for perhaps the final time, he can take solace in knowing his California journey was at least a unique one.