There was confetti on the ground and a broken man walked over it all to claim his trophy and none of us knew.
We had learned Landon Donovan was stepping away from soccer before the 2012 postseason began. He announced his body had told him to take a break, that he would have to push through the final games of the season, that eight years of anything is a long time. It didn’t seem to matter. Donovan had two goals and three assists in five postseason games, spearheaded another MLS Cup run and then disappeared to the sanded, broken cobbles of Cambodia.
The tandem story line running parallel to Donovan’s was David Beckham’s departure from MLS after a tumultuous half decade. Beckham had been productive in his time in the league, but his global reputation allowed him to float through periods of on-field disenchantment. Beckham stalked through his final years in LA more than he ran.
But he was Beckham. The hair, the pirate mustache, the DP rule his tactical largesse created, the Posh Spice, the everything. Your average Manc (or Parisian, or Belorussian) would no doubt give Beckham the lion’s share of the credit – or as much as can be bestowed on one man – for the team’s run in his latter years. As we’ve established… Beckham.
Ah, but the quieter brother is often the more dangerous one.