The LA Galaxy announced on Monday that the club will honor one of their most legendary players, David Beckham, with a statue to be unveiled before the team's home opener at Dignity Health Sports Park on March 2. Beckham will also be inducted into the club's Ring of Honor.
“The LA Galaxy are a very special club to me, so to receive this honor is incredible and very humbling,” said Beckham in a tatement. “Personally, I will always be eternally grateful for the amazing welcome the club, the fans and the city of Los Angeles gave me and my family from the minute we first arrived. My time playing and the friends we made during that period are so important to me - and Los Angeles, in so many ways, will always feel like a home to us."
Beckham, who entered MLS in 2007 as the first player acquired via the league-changing Designated Player rule, played six seasons with the Galaxy, winning MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012 to mark milestones in a remarkable career which also included stops at Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain between 1992 and 2013. Beckham, widely credited for expanding awareness and popularity of MLS during a crucial juncture in the league's development, is still involved with MLS, as one of the co-owners of Inter Miami CF, slated to begin play in 2020.
“We greatly look forward to honoring one of the most influential players in LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer history,” said LA Galaxy president Chris Klein. “David helped transform this league and the sport in the United States. He has played an important role in making the LA Galaxy the league’s most iconic brand and most successful club. This honor is well deserved. David will forever be a part of the fabric of Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy.”
Though statues honoring club legends is a tradition with a number of English football clubs, this would be the first such honor provided by an MLS team to a former player. Lamar Hunt, the namesake of the U.S. Open Cup and former FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew owner, has a statue at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.