CARSON, Calif. – The fans asked David Beckham for another year. They wanted even more from Landon Donovan.
The Galaxy celebrated their MLS Cup championship with about 3,000 fans Monday night at the Home Depot Center's tennis stadium, receiving a raucous response and a plea to their biggest star in the form of a chant: “One more year!”
Beckham was serenaded similarly by teammates in the locker room following Saturday's 3-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup final, and his answer was the same for the fans: It's over.
A few groans, and then another chant: “Thank you, Beckham!”
Beckham was one of seven speakers at the 45-minute event, following vice president Chris Klein, head coach Bruce Arena, Donovan, midfielder Mike Magee, defender Omar Gonzalez and forward Robbie Keane.
Donovan, who has said he will assess his future during a break from soccer, was asked to return, too, in a chant of “10 more years!”
“I don't know if I'll be able to walk in 10 years, so I don't know what they're thinking,” the 30-year-old LA captain told media afterward. “But it was nice. I appreciate it.”
Klein, a former Galaxy midfielder, opened the festivities by listing the club's accomplishments, then offered: “This can be argued, but I think you're looking at the greatest team in American soccer history.”
Only goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer, who was working a clinic, missed the event; every player except forward Chad Barrett – officially on loan to Norwegian club Vålerenga until the end of the year, although he has returned home – was present, including the quintet whose options were declined Monday: goalkeeper Brian Perk, defenders Andrew Boyens and Bryan Jordan, midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, and forward Pat Noonan. Barrett's option also was declined.
The team held no public event after winning the championship last year, the players instead heading home for Thanksgiving and then on a postseason tour of Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia.
“I think we regret that a little bit,” Donovan said afterward. “It's nice for us to go out and get recognized, but it's also nice for us to be appreciative of our fans. Of everybody, I've seen some really bad times here [when LA missed the playoffs in 2006, 2007 and 2008], so it's nice to appreciate the good ones.”
Todd Dunivant echoed Donovan.
“This was special ...,” the defender said. “It's something that's good for the fans, and it's great for us. It's kind of wraps a bow on the whole thing. And it's nice to close things off this way.”