Thursday, November 17, 2011
Galaxy prez to talk with David Beckham
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Galaxy president Tim Leiweke said Thursday that he plans to sit down with star midfielder David Beckham shortly after the team's MLS Cup final against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday to discuss Beckham's future with the club.
Until then, the issue is tabled.
"Him and I have an agreement and it's a really simple one: We're solely focused on Sunday night," Leiweke told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Thursday. "I don't talk to him about it, he doesn't talk to me about this. He knows I'm as intense as he is about this.
"He has a vision here. He knows winning this Cup makes this a phenomenal moment. If he does leave, and we're prepared for that, I think he knows how critical it is to leave on a high note."
Beckham's five-year contract with the Galaxy and the MLS ends at the end of this season. Though he is scheduled to join the team on an exhibition tour of Asia in early December, Sunday's game is really the final meaningful game he will play for the Galaxy under his current contract.
Beckham, 36, has repeatedly said that his decision will be based on how he feels physically and after he's had a bit of rest. In the last year he's recovered from a ruptured Achilles and a painful back injury.
"It'll be down to how I feel physically," he said at a news conference to promote the MLS Cup Thursday in Los Angeles. "I'm 36 years old. I still love the game like I did when I was 21 years old. So we'll just have to wait and see."
Beckham is being courted by several European teams, most notably Paris Saint-Germain, which is expected to make him a big-money offer.
Leiweke believes something else is far more important to Beckham. Or at least he hopes it is.
"He is the best father I've ever seen," Leiweke said. "Despite what's been said about the money, I know they're offering a lot of it, this decision will be about one thing and one thing only -- and that's his kids.
"He loves being in L.A. because he fades into the fabric here and he leads a normal life. Hopefully he realizes that when they start talking about Paris. I know he can get paid a lot more money, but it won't be a normal life."
Beckham and wife Victoria have four kids: Brooklyn, Cruz, Romeo and Harper.
Leiweke said he thought Beckham would come to a decision about his future soon after the Galaxy season ends on Sunday.
"He's a remarkable guy," Leiweke said. "For me, if this is his last game -- and I'm sure it'll hit me more after the game -- I will be very sad to see him leave."
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com.