David Beckham discusses Galaxy future
CARSON, Calif. -- If David Beckham is coming back to the Los Angeles Galaxy for another season after his five-year contract with Major League Soccer expires later this month, he wasn't quite ready to say anything definitive.
But that's not surprising, considering that a close-to-the-vest approach is nothing new for the world-famous soccer player.
"We'll have to wait and see what happens in the future," Beckham said in a one-on-one interview with ESPN Los Angeles on Tuesday at the Home Depot Center.
Last month, AEG president Tim Leiweke, who was instrumental in bringing Beckham to the United States and to the AEG-owned MLS club, told Sports Illustrated, "I believe David will be here again next year. People can make any offer they want. The loyalty he has to this club because of the way we have treated him and stood by him is going to be rewarded if we so choose to continue with David."
Beckham certainly concurs with at least part of that statement.
"Tim's been great to me since I moved to the country and this franchise," Beckham said. "He's always looked after me as a man. He's an honest man, and I've always been really close to Tim. ... Like I've said before, I have to thank Tim, I have to thank (AEG CEO) Phil (Anschutz) for looking after me the way they've looked after me."
Family considerations also figure to factor into Beckham's decision. He has a wife, Victoria, three young sons and a newborn daughter.
"My family is my first priority, so my family needs to be happy wherever we live in the world," Beckham said. "And who doesn't like living in L.A.? Everyone's been great from the moment we arrived. Everyone's been so friendly and accommodating. Everything we've done while living here has been a success. My sons are happy, my wife's happy, so of course it's a factor in where we want to live in the future."
The immediate future for the Galaxy is their two-leg playoff series against the New York Red Bulls. The Galaxy won 1-0 in Harrison, N.J., on Sunday and return for the second game Thursday in Carson needing only a tie to advance to the Western Conference final. An MLS Cup title is one thing still high on Beckham's priority list, and his lack of one in the States is definitely something that gnaws at him some.
"Off the field yes," Beckham said when asked if he has accomplished here what he set out to do. "On the field, I want a championship. It's as simple as that. ... Hopefully this is the year."
Jim Barrero is a general editor for ESPNLosAngeles.com.