Beckham could return to MLS in 2012

i-a529bac627fe87a1fe8e55e5df27eebc-becksTO.jpgMLS beckons Becks: David Beckham talks to reporters today in Toronto (AP Photo).

Now that makes the column I wrote today even more timely (see previous post):

TORONTO (AP) — David Beckham said it’s possible he could be back in the MLS next season after his five-year contract expires.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder turns 36 next month.

“Yeah, there’s a chance,” Beckham said Tuesday. “I haven’t made any decision about what I’m going to do after this year. I think it’s important that I just concentrate on my play this year.

“I feel fit, I feel good in games, I feel as if I’m performing well. I need to continue that and then in a few months I’ll think about what I want to do at the end of the day.”

Beckham spent about 10 minutes with reporters during a media availability at a downtown hotel.

The former England captain also said he’s quite interested in the 2012 Olympics in London.

“I think it’d be something that I’d like to be involved in, and I’d like to be involved in as
a player,” Beckham said. “But we’ll have to wait and see. That’s a year away yet. So we’ll
see. I’ll enjoy the rest of this season, you know we’re only five games in.

“So I’ll enjoy this season and then in the future, we’ll see. It’s going to be a busy
year.”

Beckham will make his return to BMO Field on Wednesday night when the Galaxy play Toronto FC. It will be his first game action in Toronto since the 2008 MLS All-Star game.

“We know it’s a difficult game, it always is when you come to Toronto,” Beckham said. “You know, with the fans and with the team. So we’re looking forward to getting into it.”

Beckham looked relaxed Tuesday in a white Galaxy T-shirt, shorts, a black hat and sandals.

Beckham was even asked about his recent soda commercial, where he kicks soccer balls into distant garbage cans on a beach. He flashed his trademark smile when asked whether it was for real.

“I spent five or six hours on the beach, so I had a lot of time to practice,” Beckham said
with a chuckle.

His four-plus years with Los Angeles haven’t been as much fun.

Beckham has shown touches of his on-field brilliance, but he has been saddled with injuries for a good chunk of his run with the Galaxy. However, coach Bruce Arena said this could be a very productive season for the veteran player.

“David’s a very good player, a lot of experience and ability,” Arena said. “And if healthy and fit and into it, he makes a difference each and every game. We’re beginning to see that he’s making progress.”

Beckham has three assists so far this season.

“At 35, regardless of who you are, you’re at the tail end of your career,” Arena said. “But it doesn’t mean that your career is over and you can’t be a good player. David is still capable of producing game in and game out.”

Arena added that Beckham has been “fantastic” for the league as a whole.

“We’ve played three games on the road this year — we’ve sold out Seattle, Salt Lake and here,” he said. “That’s an example. How many teams in the league have been on the road for their first three or four games and have sold out the buildings?”

Toronto FC coach Aron Winter said Beckham is still a force on the pitch.

“Everybody knows David Beckham,” Winter said on the team’s website. “He is still one of the best players in the world.”

Beckham said the quality of play in MLS has gone up since he first arrived in 2007.

“It has improved over the last few years,” he said. “Especially when you’ve got players like Thierry Henry coming into the league.”

It will be a busy year for Beckham as he’s expecting a fourth child with his wife Victoria,
who rose to fame as a member of the Spice Girls pop group.

“It’s an exciting year for us as a family and an exciting year for me as a player as well,” he said. “My family is always my No. 1 priority but being successful at my job and being
successful as a soccer player has always been up there.

“I feel I can do both.”

Didja notice he says nada about returning to the Galaxy?

Oh, and here’s that YouTube video mentioned in the story above:

The debate: Did he really do that or was it faked?

What say you?

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Soccer Fan

    Nick,

    Do you know if the game will be streamed online tonight? It sucks it won’t be on FSN or FSC.

  • UCLABZ

    Is this really a debate? Does anyone actually think he did it?

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    Yes, you can stream the game (for a fee) on mlssoccer.com via their MatchDay Live feature.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    Apparently. Although I’m sure those people haven’t watched him play regularly for the Galaxy the last four years.

  • Studs Up

    I think he did it, all three. I believe.