Beckham begins title repeat bid with Galaxy

09 March 2012 01:47

David Beckham returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy last January saying he did not want to settle for only one Major League Soccer title after ending a landmark five-year deal with his first MLS crown.

On Saturday, the English midfielder gets back to business when the Galaxy's 2012 season opens at home against Real Salt Lake with a ceremony and the hanging of the club's third MLS championship banner.

"It's not unfinished business. It's just doing it over again," Beckham said when announcing his new one-year Galaxy deal. "I've never come back after a season with the Galaxy and been a champion. I wanted to have that feeling.

"We're not finished. I'm not just happy with one championship. I want more."

Other MLS matches on Saturday's opening night of the season find Sporting Kansas City at DC United, New England at San Jose, Columbus at Colorado and the new Canadian expansion team, the Montreal Impact, at Vancouver.

Beckham, who turns 37 in May, won six English Premier League titles with Manchester United and a Spanish league crown with Real Madrid.

Now he will try to make the Galaxy the first back-to-back MLS champion since Houston in 2006 and 2007 and only the third all-time after DC United won the inaugural two crowns in 1996 and 1997.

A fourth league title for the Galaxy, whose other MLS crowns came in 2002 and 2005, would match the all-time record of DC United.

The core of last year's championship line-up is back for the Galaxy, including Irish playmaker Robbie Keane and US striker Landon Donovan.

"Landon is a dangerous player," Beckham said. "If you have players like that and they have chances, they're going to capitalize on them. It's great to have Landon back, he's a great player for us."

Real Salt Lake, who beat the Galaxy in the 2009 MLS final, have plans on knocking off the defending champions on opening night and taking home the 2012 crown as well, general manager Garth Lagerwey said.

"Doesn't matter who's hurt. Doesn't matter who's healthy," he said. "We've got to win. If we don't, we fail."

Donovan has struggled with bronchitis since being loaned to Everton of the English Premier League but he scored the equalizer in the 89th minute of a 2-2 CONCACAF Champions League draw for the Galaxy at Toronto on Tuesday.

"I wanted to make sure I paced myself correctly," he said. "I haven't trained and played much so I wanted to be smart about it."

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44