Former Three Lions skipper to end six-year spell with Galaxy
Former England captain David Beckham
is to leave Los Angeles Galaxy after next month's MLS Cup.
The 37-year-old is in line to end his six-year Galaxy stay in style as they defend their title against the Houston Dynamo on 1 December before seeking to extend his playing career elsewhere.
He told the Major League Soccer website
: "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.''
Although Beckham had an option on his contract, signed in January, for another year with the Galaxy, his decision to leave is no great surprise.
Australian side Perth Glory have already expressed an interest in Beckham, tweeting: "David Beckham has confirmed the MLS Cup final will be his last game for the Galaxy. The race is on."
China, the United Arab Emirates, Paris, England and even Brazil have been mentioned as potential destinations. But wherever he goes, it will bring to an end an eventful career in MLS which saw the midfielder become the face of a new era for the sport in North America.
His final game will take place at the Galaxy's own Home Depot Center, where he arrived on the American stage as the first designated player in MLS back in 2007.
Beckham added: "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.”
Beckham's stint in Los Angeles brought success in the form of the Galaxy's third MLS Cup crown last year.
But he also faced repeated criticism from some Galaxy fans, particularly early on in his stay, for a perceived lack of commitment to the cause.
Two loan stints at AC Milan, during the second of which he tore an Achilles tendon, as he attempted to keep his place in the England team did little to help that perception. There were also comments made while in Italy about the standard of football in America.
But he won over many supporters, in no small part due to a dramatic upturn in form over the last two seasons and he was voted the league's best player by fans earlier this year.
Beckham was brought to America as much for the effect of his brand as his on-field ability, and MLS commissioner Don Garber believes he has been successful in helping to grow the sport.
He said: "When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America.
"There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived.
"David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy and he will always be an important part of our history.
“We look forward to his continued involvement with the LA Galaxy and the league."
England fans will remember this goal [video] scored by Beckham against Greece in 2001, but you can now vote for your favourite ever Three Lions goal as part of The FA's 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2013. Click here to have your say