David Beckham Leaving LA Galaxy

"I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career," the soccer star said

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    File photo of David Beckham waving to fans

    There have been rumors, but now it's official: David Beckham is leaving the LA Galaxy.

    The 37-year-old midfielder announced his departure on Monday. His last game will be against the Houston Dynamo for the MLS Cup on Dec. 1, according to the team.

    "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," Beckham said in a statement released on the team's website.

    "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," he said.

    Beckham played six years in Los Angeles since his groundbreaking move from Europe, reaching three league finals and winning one MLS title last year during his best season stateside.

    He agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January after playing out his initial five-year deal, turning down potential moves to Paris St. Germain and other clubs.

    Los Angeles got off to a slow start to the year, but has played splendidly down the stretch, culminating in a two-game victory over the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference finals.

    Beckham has been the star player on the league's glamour franchise during his tenure, which began with a handful of rocky seasons before the Galaxy became a power under coach Bruce Arena over the past few years.

    "In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year," Beckham said. "I've been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've had from fans in L.A. and across the States. Soccer's potential has no limits in this wonderful country, and I want to always be part of growing it."