March 4 – A statue of former England captain David Beckham was unveiled outside the stadium of LA Galaxy before their opening game in the new MLS season at the weekend.
Beckham was the first big European name to join MLS and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 during his six years and 98 appearances with the Galaxy. He is now owner of Inter Miami, who will make their MLS debut in 2020.
“No doubt our league wouldn’t be what it is today if David didn’t make that decision,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said during a pre-game ceremony. “At that time we were a fledgling business and trying to figure out if soccer would make it in America. His signing told the world that Major League Soccer could be the league of choice.”
“My commitment to this league and country was always a lot more than on the field,” Beckham said. “I wanted to grow the game and play a small part in growing this league and making it bigger. I think we have been successful but there still is a long way to go but I think we are very happy with the growth over the past 10 years.”
Galaxy won 2-1 against the Chicago Fire while elsewhere, FC Cincinnati lost 4-1 to Seattle Sounders on their MLS debut, Orlando City drew with New York City and Colorado Rapids drew 3-3 with the Portland Timbers in the coldest match in MLS history with temperatures of 18F (-8C) at kickoff.
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