"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career," the 37-year-old said. "I don't see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future."
"In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year," he added. "I've been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've had from fans in LA and across the States. Soccer's potential has no limits in this wonderful country, and I want to always be part of growing it."
Beckham joined LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007 and won three Western Conference titles with the club as well as the MLS Cup last season. The MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, said: "When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America."
"There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived. David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the LA Galaxy and the league."
Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG [Anschutz Entertainment Group, who owns LA Galaxy] said: "Seldom does an athlete redefine a sport and David not only took our franchise to another level but he took our sport to another level. It has been an honour and privilege to be a part of his world, and more importantly, to have him be a part of ours."
There have been suggestions in the Australian press that Beckham may join the A-League – with five clubs interested.
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image: © Jeremy Ryan