Superstar David Beckham said the Dec. 1 MLS Cup will be his final "competitive" match with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham, 37, said he is not retiring from soccer.

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MLS Cup to be Beckham’s final

‘competitive’ match for Galaxy

David Beckham said the Dec. 1 MLS Cup will be his final “competitive” match with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

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The superstar English midfielder announced his decision Monday, a day after the defending Major League Soccer champions beat Sounders FC in the home-and-home Western Conference finals. The Galaxy will play Houston in the MLS Cup in Carson, Calif.

Beckham, 37, is not retiring from the sport.

In a statement, he said, “I’ve had an incredibly special time playing for the L.A. Galaxy. However, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career. 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.”

Beckham has played six years in Los Angeles and his announcement indicated he might be a part of future exhibition matches.

Tim Leiweke, president of Galaxy owners AEG, said, “David not only took our franchise to another level, but he took our sport to another level. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of his world, and more importantly, to have him be a part of ours.”

Dempsey is top U.S. male again

Clint Dempsey, 29, has been voted the U.S. Soccer Federation’s top male athlete for the second consecutive year. He scored a team-high six goals for the United States this year, including five in World Cup qualifying.

Ex-keeper’s trial begins in Brazil

The trial of a former standout goalkeeper charged with orchestrating the kidnapping and gruesome murder of an ex-girlfriend started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with two lawyers abandoning the case and the victim’s mother making a tearful plea for justice.

The case of 27-year-old Bruno Fernandes, known in Brazil as Bruno, has riveted the country. Fernandes’ accomplices allegedly held his former girlfriend, model Eliza Samudio, before killing her and feeding her remains to dogs.


Ichiro won’t play in 2013 WBC

Ichiro told Japanese officials he will not take part in next year’s World Baseball Classic.

Ex-Mariner Ichiro, 39, was instrumental in helping Japan win the WBC in 2006 and 2009. He was traded by the Mariners to New York in July and hit .322 in 67 games for the Yankees.

“I appreciate being asked to play for Japan again at the WBC,” Ichiro said. “But after the second tournament in 2009, I never considered playing in the third event. My feelings have not changed to this day and it’s where things stand.”

Miami-Toronto deal is finalized

The Miami Marlins’ trade with the Toronto Blue Jays made last week received final approval from the commissioner’s office.

Commissioner Bud Selig approved the blockbuster deal, even though it made Marlins fans irate and made the team a nationwide punch line. The trade sends All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Blue Jays along with pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio for seven players, none of whom has a big-money contract.

Miami received infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino, catcher Jeff Mathis and outfielder Jake Marisnick.

By swinging the deal, made the same year they moved into a new stadium built with mostly taxpayer money, the Marlins pared from their books $146.5 million in payroll. That is their net savings after agreeing to send $8.5 million to the Blue Jays as part of the trade.

The stadium and surrounding parking lots reportedly cost $645 million, according to The New York Times.

The Marlins began the season with a franchise-record payroll of $112 million, then went 69-93, their worst record since 1999. Manager Ozzie Guillen was fired after the season and replaced by Mike Redmond, 41, a former player for Gonzaga and Gonzaga Prep in Spokane who spent 13 seasons in the major leagues as a catcher.

“We’ve finished in last place the past two years, and that is unacceptable,” owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement. “It’s incumbent on us to make the changes necessary to make us a winner again. It may not happen overnight.”

Braves sign catcher Laird

Catcher Gerald Laird will get $3 million for his two-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, and could earn up to $750,000 in performance bonuses based on how many games he starts.

Laird, 33, hit .282 in 174 at-bats for American League champion Detroit this year.


• Former top-ranked doubles player Gisela Dulko of Argentina has retired from tennis at 27, finishing her career with four singles titles and 17 in doubles. Dulko said she was retiring because she no longer had “the same drive.”

• Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent is taking a swing at promoting boxing in Nevada.

Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said the entertainer and businessman whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III won approval last week for a promoter’s license.

50 Cent’s company is handling a Dec. 8 bout in Las Vegas between Miami-based Yuriorkis Gamboa and an opponent yet to be named.

• NHL and players’ association officials met at the league office for nearly two hours on the 65th day of a lockout that has wiped out 327 games. It was the first bargaining session since Nov. 11.

• At the Golden Goggles, USA Swimming’s annual awards banquet, Missy Franklin was selected female athlete of the year and Michael Phelps earned male honors for the fourth time.

Nathan Adrian of Bremerton was honored for the male race of the year for his narrow victory in the 100-meter freestyle at the London Olympics.

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