GALAXY NOTEBOOK: Beckham's future hot topic heading into cup final Nov. 17, 2011

from LA Daily News - All Sports News· ·

Nothing like a little absence from training to churn the David Beckham rumor mill, and it was in full force on Thursday. Asked where Beckham was, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena couldn't resist.

Nothing like a little absence from training to churn the David Beckham rumor mill, and it was in full force on Thursday. Asked where Beckham was, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena couldn't resist. "David's downtown protesting the banking system," Arena quipped. Later in the afternoon, Beckham was indeed downtown to face the gathered media, a throng that was admonished to keep the questions pertinent to Sunday's MLS Cup match only. Naturally, the first question was about Beckham's future as some MLS officials tried to hold back their cringes. "Uh, good afternoon," Beckham said with a grin, drawing laughter. Yes, Sunday's game between the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo at Home Depot Center might not only be for a championship, it could be the final time Beckham plays on U.S. soil, since his five-year contract runs out afterward. The talk has Beckham taking big bucks from Paris St. Germain, or hooking on with Tottenham, or even returning to Los Angeles. "We've worked hard this season and I'm concentrating on this game on Sunday, it's as simple as that," Beckham said in a refrain that he has clearly grown tired of. "My decision will come after that, once I get a bit of a rest and see where I am. And then we'll see." Then Landon Donovan took a question, but maybe only the questioner listened intently. Then, back to Beckham, of course. And politely he described how he's enjoyed his time in Southern California, seeing the sights like Al Pacino walking with his kid down the street. "My decision will come, I've always said, to how I feel physically. "Obviously my No. 1 priority is always my family. We've loved living here for five years. "I'm 36 years old but I still love the game like I did when I was 21 years old." Down for the count Houston's Brad Davis, a league MVP candidate - that will be announced today at Home Depot Center - is out with a torn thigh muscle. As the Dynamo struggle to try to fill that void for the game, the Galaxy were stunned when forward Chad Barrett went down in training with a dislocated ankle last week. Barrett and forward Robbie Keane had begun to crystallize as an attacking duo, so a part of the Galaxy's machine will once again have to be tinkered with. Barrett, second on the team with seven goals, was hurt without contact, apparently with his cleats catching as he turned after taking a pass. One teammate called the injury "unsettling." "He makes great runs. He's the type of forward that you lose him for a second and he's in the right position to get open," Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter said. "Not only that, he's a big physical presence who doesn't quit on anything. His work rate, his strength, his speed are very valuable for the team." Galaxy coach Bruce Arena could turn in several different directions, but he may be reluctant to break up his midfield to fill the gap. Mike Magee and Donovan are potential starters at forward, but their replacements might be rookies Miguel Lopez or Paolo Cardozo. Adam Cristman could be called on to team with Keane. One and done One player who definitely would be playing in the final game of his career is Berhalter, who last month announced he would retire after the season. Berhalter, 38, likely won't crack the starting lineup on the back line, but he wouldn't mind being on the 18-man roster Arena will select for the contest. "It means a lot," Berhalter said. "The whole year has meant a lot to me and obviously as a team, we've put a lot of energy into being successful this year and it would obviously be a crowning achievement to win this game. "It's something that's important. It's not the end-all (to be on the roster) because you want to help the team in any way you can. Whether that's on the sideline or on the field or anywhere, you want to help the team." Berhalter appeared in 10 games this season and started eight, but he was also employed as an assistant coach this season. Pay per view The Galaxy are expected to announce their new broadcast rights deal with Time Warner Cable today, one that reportedly will fetch the club $55 million over the next 10 years. The Galaxy had been part of the Fox Sports West lineup, but the broadcasts received low ratings and many of the games were shown on a delayed basis. The new deal could also help with a cash infusion that wouldn't hurt if Beckham were to return. This year, Beckham earned $6,500,000.00, or in other words, a pretty penny.