MLS Cup could be final game for three legends

The Impact invites you to a special viewing party for the 2012 MLS Cup at the Irish Embassy Pub, on Saturday December 1st, at 4:30pm ET.

The MLS Cup promises a couple of interesting story lines for Saturday’s game (Dec 1, RDS/TSN 4:30pm ET).

The obvious is the rematch of last year’s championship match in which the LA Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 on a goal by Landon Donovan.

But soccer fans might also want to watch the final as it may mark the final appearances of a few MLS legends.

Beckham's last game in MLS

Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has already made it known that Saturday’s game would be his last game in MLS. He’s not retiring, but is looking for a new challenge and rumours have him possibly joining Alessandro Del Piero in Australia’s A-League, or returning in the near future as an owner of an MLS franchise.

In six seasons, Beckham’s influence has been undeniable. When Beckham left Real Madrid in 2007 to sign a five-year deal with the Galaxy, he said he wanted to win and increase the league’s popularity both domestically and abroad.

“I don’t think anybody would doubt that he has over delivered on every one of those measures,” said MLS Comissioner Garber during in his annual state of the league session on Monday.

“There’s arguably not a soccer fan on this planet that doesn’t know the L.A. Galaxy and Major League Soccer, and David played a significant role in helping us make that happen. He was an unbelievable ambassador for the league, for the Galaxy.”

The Galaxy won last year’s title and is in the final for the third time in four years and the league’s popularity has reached heights never before seen, including a crowd of 60,860 spectators when the Impact hosted Beckham and the Galaxy at the Olympic Stadium back on May 12.

Ching and Donovan could retire

Landon Donovan has also hinted that he might be lacing up his boots professionally for the last time on Saturday.

Donovan became a pro soccer player at the age of 17, spending a few years in Germany before going back the U.S. to become of the face of the MLS and American soccer.

In 274 games played in MLS, the 32-year-old has scored 124 goals to go along with two MLS titles (while winning the game’s MVP award on both occasions) and one Lamar Hunt Open Cup, one league MVP in 2009 and six all-star appearances.

In recent interviews, he admitted that he’s tired and wants to travel the world. The wear and tear of all the travel in MLS and national team appearances may have caught up with the Galaxy’s captain.

Another player who has had an impact in MLS and may call it a career is familiar to Impact supporters.

The Dynamo’s Brian Ching was selected by Montreal in the 2011 Expansion Draft, but after joining the club in preseason camp, he was traded back to Houston after initially refusing to even join the Impact.

Ching may not be a fan favourite north of the border, but his 11-year career in Major League Soccer saw him score 101 goals in 250 games played to go along with three MLS Cup titles and 45 appearances for the U.S. national team.

So, you may not feel a personal connection to the Cup game, Saturday’s matchup may provide the swan song for some MLS heroes.

Whether you cheer for or against them is your prerogative.

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