Beckham: I want to win now like I did when I was 18

CARSON,
Calif. — When David Beckham came to the LA Galaxy in July 2007, hopes
were high that the franchise would quickly return to their winning ways.

Things
didn’t quite work out that way. Both 2007 and 2008 were lean years as
the Galaxy as LA ran their streak of consecutive playoff-free seasons to three.

But 2009 saw the team go to the MLS Cup final, and on Sunday Beckham will look to guide the Galaxy to a second in as many seasons when they host FC Dallas in the Western
Conference
Championship (9 pm ET, ESPN2/Deportes).

Did Beckham expect success sooner than it’s taken?

“I
expected it to take longer, to be honest,” he said. “The first couple
of years were difficult, because we obviously didn’t reach the playoffs.
The last
couple of years have been great. We’ve had exciting soccer played and
we’ve reached the playoffs, which is important for this franchise. So
personally, I’m happy with the way it’s gone the last couple of years.”

After
winning MLS Cup ’05, the Galaxy went into a bit of a tailspin. In 2006, LA missed the playoffs for the first time in club history.
Beckham
joined the club in the middle of 2007 but injuries kept him from
playing all but five league games.

[inline_node:322840]Beckham
racked up five goals and 10 assists in 2008 but after a strong start to
the season, the Galaxy fell apart and the club changed coaches for the third time
in
three years.

But that was the turning point in Beckham’s Galaxy career.

“The
last two years have been a lot better than the first year or two," he said.
"That’s helped with Bruce [Arena] coming in and the stability he’s
brought and keeping
the same manager. To have a successful team you have to
have stability and we’ve definitely had that the last two seasons.”

Arena
made a slew of changes ahead of the 2009 season and the team struggled coming out of the blocks. But the Galaxy recovered to finish atop the Western Conference standings
and
reached the MLS Cup final, which they lost in penalties to Real Salt Lake.

But for Beckham, that loss is in the past. What matters now is winning and getting back to the top.

“I’m
always driven to be successful and always driven to win," he said. "Having the
injury was a disappointment to myself. My drive has never been an
issue. I’ve always wanted success. I’m 35 years old now and I still want it
as much as I did when I was 18, 19.”

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