Tag Archives: houston

D.A. Points wins the Shell Houston Open

DA Points wins Shell Houston Open to book his place at the Masters

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

01:00 GMT, 1 April 2013

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UPDATED:

02:12 GMT, 1 April 2013

DA Points found form out of nowhere to claim victory at the Shell Houston Open by a shot and book his place at the Masters.

Points had missed three cuts in a row and seven of his last nine heading into the Texas event, but hit his stride straight away, claiming the lead after the first round.

And he stayed in contention throughout the week, carding a six-under-par 66 today, inclduing a pressure putt on the 18th, to hold off Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel and win by one stroke on 16 under.

All smiles: points celebrates with his hard-earned trophy

All smiles: points celebrates with his hard-earned trophy

'It's been a realy tough year, a tough
start,' he said. 'To have a putt to win – you want that starting out
every week. I would have liked it to be a little closer, but I've been
putting really well.'

Points came out on top after a
dramatic day, which saw a host of players move in and out of contention
and was extended because of a rain delay late on.

Stewart Cink and Bill Haas went into the day as joint leaders, but neither in the end was a serious contender.

Haas dropped two shots on the front
nine and in the end finished level par for his final round, while Cink
could muster only three birdies. An eagle on the last would have seen
him into a play-off with Points, but he found sand and ended up with a
bogey to sit in a share of sixth on 13 under.

Among the other contenders, Stenson
and Horschel hit contrasting 66s and were left to see if Points would
slip up on the final hole.

Weather delay: Bad weather delayed play on the final day

Weather delay: Bad weather delayed play on the final day

Weather delay: Bad weather delayed play on the final day

Stenson needed four birdies in his
last five holes to hit the mark, while Horschel could not find the shot
he needed at the back end of the course, parring each of the last five
holes.

The good news for Stenson was that his
performance was enough to earn him a place in the world's top 50 and an
invitation to the Masters.

Adding to the drama was a near
three-hour delay in play, with only a handful of players still out on
course and Stenson the clubhouse leader, caused by a downpour in
Houston.

Points held his nerve, though, saving
par on each of his last two holes using a putter he revealed earlier in
the week was one he had taken from his mother when he was younger and
had refurbished this week in an attempt to improve his play on the
greens.

Happy days: D.A. Points celebrates winning the Shell Houston Open

Happy days: D.A. Points celebrates winning the Shell Houston Open

Get in the hole: D.A. Points celebrates his par putt on the 18th green

Get in the hole: D.A. Points celebrates his par putt on the 18th green

'I was firing on all cycliners,' he said. 'I'm proud of myself that the rain delay didn't put a stop to that.'

Dustin Johnson produced the round of
the day, a seven-under 65, to finish in a share of fourth on 14 under,
alongside Ben Crane, while a 67 saw Brian Davis finish as the leading
Briton on 13 under, two strokes aherad of compatriot Lee Westwood.

Rory McIlroy managed a third straight under-par round to finish four under overall.

He told www.pgatour.com: '[There are]
lot of positives to take from it. I've learned a few things as well that
I can bring into next week and obviously looking ahead to Augusta, too.

'It's been a productive week.'

David Beckham hailed by his peers as LA Galaxy stint ends

Goodbye America, it's been magical! Beckham hailed by his peers after dazzling USA

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 2 December 2012

How do you know when you’ve made it in America Public endorsements from national icons certainly do not do any harm.

‘David Beckham, thank you for making pro soccer relevant in the USA,’ tweeted Magic Johnson, the former LA Lakers basketball star in the run-up to his neighbour’s final game in the MLS on Saturday afternoon.

Beckham is not short of famous friends in California. On Friday he told how he recently called up Michael Jordan for a restaurant recommendation during a visit to Chicago. This, over the last six years, has gradually become the life of the former England captain.

Family party: David Beckham shares the glory with his sons Brooklyn Beckham, Cruz Beckham and Romeo Beckham

Family party: David Beckham shares the glory with his sons Brooklyn Beckham, Cruz Beckham and Romeo Beckham

Paying tribute: Beckham was much loved by the Galaxy fans

Paying tribute: Beckham was much loved by the Galaxy fans

Famous friends: Magic Johnson tweeted about Beckham to thank him

Famous friends: Magic Johnson tweeted about Beckham to thank him

Early on Saturday evening, though,
Beckham received a tribute from his peers that — set against the
background of his time in the States — perhaps meant more to him as he
celebrated LA Galaxy’s 3-1 Cup final victory over Houston Dynamo in the
dressing room of the Home Depot Center.

‘One more year, one more year, one
more year,’ was the spontaneous song from Beckham’s Galaxy team-mates
as he prepared to say his farewells. Quite something, that, from a group
of players who as recently as 2009 were questioning his commitment to
their cause.

Moments later Beckham sat in the press
conference next to Landon Donovan, the colleague who famously said
three years ago: ‘I can’t say he’s a good team-mate. He’s not shown
that. At a minimum you should bust your ass every day. That hasn’t
happened.’ Here, in the aftermath of victory, was Donovan’s latest take.

Fond farewell: Beckham crowned his six year spell with LA Galaxy with another MLS Cup victory, after they beat Houston Dynamo 3-1

Fond farewell: Beckham crowned his six year spell with LA Galaxy with another MLS Cup victory, after they beat Houston Dynamo 3-1

Impact: Beckham is hailed by the adoring Galaxy fans

Impact: Beckham is hailed by the adoring Galaxy fans

‘David’s demeanour earlier this season
was overwhelming,’ Donovan said. ‘All the players were saying it. We
were struggling but he simply influenced people.

‘Players bought in to what he was saying and here, months later, we have our reward.’

Donovan is a complicated character,
one currently contemplating his own future in MLS. His tribute to
Beckham, though, appeared genuine and in tune with much of what has
recently been said here about the league’s most famous player.

There will, of course, not be one more
year for the 37-year-old Beckham. He leaves America as a winner and
that will be important to him. It was the way he left Manchester United
in 2003, and Real Madrid in 2007 too. He will not be back.

Equally pertinent, though, is that he
leaves believing he has ultimately kept his side of the bargain he
struck when he arrived in LA at the relatively young age of 31.

Still got it: Beckham produced a number of superlative, hallmark passes during the final

Still got it: Beckham produced a number of superlative, hallmark passes during the final

Hair-raising: Beckham challenged Houston's Ricardo Clark to the ball

Hair-raising: Beckham challenged Houston's Ricardo Clark to the ball

Questions about his commitment, about
the sincerity of his oft-stated belief in the future of MLS, dogged his
early years in Los Angeles.

On Saturday night, though, he left the field embraced not only as an Englishman abroad but as one of the league’s very own.

This has been a difficult journey at
times. Loan spells in Milan in 2009 and 2010 raised understandable
questions about his priorities, as indeed did his early returns to
England to extend his inter-national career.

To be here on Saturday, though, was to realise that America now loves Beckham just as much as Beckham loves America.

‘If this had been a failed experience
with David then it would really have set us back as a league,’ said MLS
commissioner Don Garber. ‘But it hasn’t been. It has, in the end, been
enormously successful.’

Here's the punchline: Beckham celebrates after Omar Gonzalez had brought the match level at 1-1 early in the second half

Here's the punchline: Beckham celebrates after Omar Gonzalez had brought the match level at 1-1 early in the second half

Once upon a time, Beckham looked up
from the Home Depot field to see banners telling him to ‘go home’. It
wasn’t only Donovan who wondered where his heart and mind really lay.

On Saturday, though, the slogans pleaded: ‘Please take us with you,’ and declared: ‘David we will miss you.’

Garber added: ‘It took time for David
to find his legs here and get used to things. There were some trials and
tribulations with the loans in the early part. They created issues.

‘But we look back now and see that we
had a lot of “full-time David” and that “full-time David” over-delivered
on a lot of levels.

‘There are very few people in the world who don’t know about MLS now and that’s because David’s been here.’

As is often the case in America,
perspective is required. Off-the-field measures in MLS suggest muted
improvement during the Beckham years.

Average attendances have risen from
15,500 per match to 18,800. There are now 19 franchises in the MLS,
compared to 13 in Beckham’s first season. Television viewing figures,
meanwhile, remain fairly stagnant, with just over a million people
tuning in to watch Beckham on Saturday.

Much loved: Beckham's departure was mourned by LA Galaxy fans, who made a number of tribute banners for his farewell

Much loved: Beckham's departure was mourned by LA Galaxy fans, who made a number of tribute banners for his farewell

The great, sprawling monsters of
American football, basketball and baseball are not under any threat from
what remains a minority sport and an admission from the Galaxy on
Friday that they are targeting the Brazilian Kaka as Beckham’s
replacement in a bid to attract Hispanic TV audiences suggests some
decisions are still being made for reasons not entirely centred on
sport.

Nevertheless, it can be argued that Beckham’s presence in LA has, latterly, helped to inch the game forwards.

‘When David came here people overseas
described it as a retirement league,’ said Garber. ‘Now people can see
it’s much more competitive.’

At Home Depot on Saturday, Beckham was
feted. Win or lose, this was set up to be his day. Playing in his now
familiar deep midfield role, he passed the ball very well.

He may not be able to run like he
once could. As a football technician, though, he remains imperious and
his control over a football — his judgment of weight and distance — is
as exquisite as ever.

Joking with a team-mate last week,
Beckham likened himself to the New England Patriots quarter-back Tom
Brady, only to be told: ‘No, man, you are not that good.’

Memento: This Galaxy fan wanted the shirt of Beckham's back

Memento: This Galaxy fan wanted the shirt of Beckham's back

It’s easy to see his point, though. On
Saturday, given the time and space a 37-year-old needs, he increasingly
dictated the rhythm of the game as Galaxy recovered from a half-time
deficit to win.

When they earned a last-minute
penalty, it looked momentarily as though Beckham might take it. Some
farewell that would have been, but common sense dictated otherwise and,
after Robbie Keane had sealed victory from 12 yards, Beckham departed
the stage to a generous ovation.

Where he goes next is the question. In
all honesty a place in a top European side looks some way beyond him.
For now, though, he will lay that issue to one side.

‘This is a good day,’ Beckham said. ‘I
tell my children every day that if you want something you have to put
in the hard graft. I think I have done that here. It’s been a successful
six years.

‘All I hope is that people have enjoyed watching me play. My impact here will have to be judged by others.’

David Beckham farewell ends with victory for LA Galaxy over Houston Dynamo

From cynicism to people's champion, Beckham heads back to Europe after his American adventure more acclaimed than ever

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UPDATED:

00:23 GMT, 2 December 2012

What began amid cynicism and courted controversy and suspicion along the way, ended here in California tonight with a standing ovation. David Beckham’s American journey is over and he heads back to Europe as a winner.

It was six years ago that Beckham moved to Los Angeles at the age of 31 to play football. It seemed a peculiar thing to do for a man still with so many years ahead of him. The MLS was not a great league and LA Galaxy were a club – or a ‘franchise’ – in a bit of a mess.

But as Beckham took his leave a minute before the end of his team’s 3-1 win in the MLS Cup Final here today, few would contest his own view that America has been as good to him as, eventually, he has been to America.

Fond farewell: David Beckham has crowned his six year spell in the United States and the Los Angeles Galaxy with another MLS Cup victory, after they beat Houston Dynamo 3-1

Fond farewell: David Beckham has crowned his six year spell in the United States and the Los Angeles Galaxy with another MLS Cup victory, after they beat Houston Dynamo 3-1

Here's the punchline: Beckham celebrates after Omar Gonzalez had brought the match level at 1-1 early in the second half

Here's the punchline: Beckham celebrates after Omar Gonzalez had brought the match level at 1-1 early in the second half

Family man: Beckham lines up with his sons, Brooklyn (left), Romeo (middle) and Cruz before kick-off

Family man: Beckham lines up with his sons, Brooklyn (left), Romeo (middle) and Cruz before kick-off

Trailing by a goal at half-time, it looked for a while as though Beckham’s big day was about to collapse around his sparkling pink football foots. Galaxy had been the better team but had been hit by a sucker punch from Houston just before the interval.

In the second half, though, Beckham wrote his name all over this contest. He was the game’s best player and by full-time he had made many of the decisive contributions.

Beckham may not be able to run like he once could. It will be this, in all likelihood, that ultimately prevents him landing a contract at one of Europe’s bigger clubs as he looks to extend his remarkable career yet further in the coming weeks.

As a football technician, though, he remains almost unparalleled. Here today, some of his passing was reminiscent of his salad days at Manchester United and Real Madrid. Playing deep in the centre of midfield, the 37-year-old found the time and space to deliver telling passes with familiar regularity.

Still got it: Beckham produced a number of superlative, hallmark passes during the final

Still got it: Beckham produced a number of superlative, hallmark passes during the final

Hair-raising: Beckham challenged Houston's Ricardo Clark to the ball

Hair-raising: Beckham challenged Houston's Ricardo Clark to the ball

Indeed the one 80-yard first-time pass he played with his right foot to Robbie Keane on the hour will not be bettered anywhere this weekend. It was classic Beckham.

With the Home Depot Center awash with Beckham t-shirts and banners – “Take us with you, Becks” read one popular shirt – this day was somewhat different to the difficult early ones when the former England captain’s commitment to his team was questioned by supporters and colleagues alike.

Ultimately, it was just a shame that he was denied a fitting finale.

Much loved: Beckham's departure was mourned by LA Galaxy fans, who made a number of tribute banners for his farewell

Much loved: Beckham's departure was mourned by LA Galaxy fans, who made a number of tribute banners for his farewell

Memento: This Galaxy fan wanted the shirt of Beckham's back

Memento: This Galaxy fan wanted the shirt of Beckham's back

With Galaxy awarded a penalty with seconds remaining, Beckham and team-mate Landon Donovan – the regular taker – seemed to agree that the Englishman would take it. He seemed set to end his career here with a goal.

Keane had other ideas, however, and the Irishman didn’t even look at his team-mate as he placed the ball and slotted it in to the net for the third goal.

As Keane celebrated, though, it was Beckham who was mobbed. Moments earlier he had sunk to his knees. His final mission had been accomplished.

As he left the field soon after, 30,000 people rose to applaud him. He merely waved to his three sons in the crowd and took his place on the bench.

Beckham’s visit to America is over and he ends it with another trophy. Has he been a success over here Try telling the Galaxy otherwise.

LA Galaxy v Houston Dynamo live – David Beckham farewell

LIVE: LA Galaxy v Houston Dynamo – follow David Beckham's US farewell in the MLS Cup final

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UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 1 December 2012

Tonight David Beckham plays his final match for Los Angeles Galaxy before leaving for one last challenge in football. Sportsmail will bring you all the latest news from the Home Depot Center as Beckham aims to leave on a high by defending the MLS Cup against Houston Dynamo.

18min Great chance! Beckham with a peach of a free-kick from the right and Mike Magee, five yards out, really should have found the net with a diving header.

Seconds later, Wilhelmsson appealing vocally for a penalty after racing clear. No chance, replied the referee.

16min Chance up the other end for Calen Carr who audaciously tries to flick the ball in from a left-wing cross. But he's a long way out and it sails comfortably over the bar.

14min A little delay while Houston's Brad Davis received attention from the physio. Becks really finding his range now, locating Wilhelmsson with a lovely ball out wide.

Update from our man in LA:

'Almost 15 minutes gone and Galaxy should be ahead. Beckham’s raking pass from his own half set Robbie Keane clear down the left. Keane did the right thing and squared the ball to Landon Donovan, who only had to slide it in to the net from ten yards. He didn’t. He side-footed it wide. I would have scored. Really, I would.'

12min What a chance missed by the Galaxy! Beckham, glorious 60-yard diagonal ball to Keane who sprints forward and puts it on a plate for Donovan. But, with the whole stadium ready to erupt, he slips it wide of the post. Very out of character for the former Everton man to miss that.

10min The Galaxy are enjoying the majority of possession now and feeling their way into the game. The Home Depot Center has a weird grassy area above one of the stands which is sparsely populated compared to the sold-out stands elsewhere.

7min First involvement for Robbie Keane, whose persistence created a half-chance for Landon Donovan, whose shot dribbles harmlessly to the goalkeeper.

Landon going for his fifth MLS title today.

5min Quick thinking from Beckham, who lofts a free-kick into the path of Christian Wilhelmsson. The ball skips away off the turf and into the hands of Hall.

4min it's been a nervy start for Saunders in net for the Galaxy, flapping at a couple of crosses. Ian Ladyman writes:

'We are underway at the Home Depot Center and Beckham is
sporting the most wonderful pair of pink boots. Just in case he is hard to pick
out. His first touch saw him dumped on his backside while it’s Houston who had
the first chance, midfielder Ricardo Clark – yes, the Ricardo Clark – seeing
his angles shot beaten away by Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders. The Houston
goalie, by the way, is called Tally Hall. I don’t know why I find that amusing,
I just do.'

1min First involvement for Beckham and he's brought down just inside the Houston half – nothing given.

Strong start from the Dynamo, with Ricardo Clark stinging the palms of LA Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders.

21.57 HOUSTON GET THE 2012 MLS CUP FINAL UNDERWAY

21.54 The commentators are discussing how this could also be Landon Donovan's farewell. But he's only 30, seven years younger than Beckham. If it is to be the case, his departure is likely to be part of a massive Galaxy post-season shake-up. There is speculation that Kaka is on his way over from Real Madrid and maybe even Frank Lampard from Chelsea.

21.52 Understandably given how they outnumber their visitors, the Galaxy fans can be heard loudest. They'll want to see one of these tonight:

21.49 There seems to be a whole legion of young mascots – each of the Galaxy players seems to have three each! No sightings of Victoria and the kids yet…

21.47 Here we go! The two teams are walking out, passing in front of the Galaxy fans behind one of the goals. Dramatic music sets the tone. Fireworks fizz into the sky from colourful flags.

Houston looking very Blackpool-like in their tangerine kits, while the Galaxy are in their traditional all-white.

21.46 Ian Ladyman updates us as we move closer to kick-off:

'It’s almost time for the teams to emerge here. The rain has stopped and the sun has come out. Maybe it is to be a golden farewell for Beckham, after all. Home advantage looks like being significant for Galaxy. The Houston fans are located in one tiny corner of the stadium and there only looks to be about 1500 or so of them. Welcome to a cup final the American way.'

Abide With Me, anyone

21.44 Here's a couple more homemade Beckham tribute efforts..

Nice one Dav... A tribute banner at the Home Depot, while the makers of this England flag (below) have made an early claim for his shirt

Nice one Dav… A tribute banner at the Home Depot, while the makers of this England flag (below) have made an early claim for his shirt

Fans with banners for LA Galaxy's David Beckham ahead of the MLS Cup Final at the Home Depot Center,

21.40 Twenty minutes until the big kick-off and the stadium is almost full. Even the sun has come out, which will please Ian Ladyman. The home Ultras can be heard getting the atmosphere started.

21.37 This is Tinseltown, so there's bound to be a bit of celebrity interest. Here's actor Gerard Butler being shown to his seat (look how happy he looks):

Actor Gerard Butler arrives before the MLS Cup Final at the Home Depot Center, Los Angeles, USA

21.33 And here, ladies and gentlemen, are your team line-ups:

LA Galaxy: (4-4-2) Saunders; Dunivant, Gonzalez, Meyer, Franklin, Magee, Juninho, Beckham, Wilhelmsson, Keane, Donovan

Subs: DeLagarza, Gaul, Noonan, Stephens, Sarvas, Perk, Buddle

Houston Dynamo: (4-4-2) Hall; Ashe, Taylor, Boswell, Sarkodie, Moffat, Clark, Davis, Garcia, Bruin, Carr

Subs: Weaver, Ching, Hainault, Kandji, Camargo, Deric, Barnes

21.32 Here's your stat pack for the match:

– This final sees two of the most successful MLS teams against each other – The Galaxy are competing in their eighth final and chasing a fourth win, which could match DC United for the most wins. The Dynamo are playing in the final for the fourth time in the seven year history of their franchise, having won it in 2006 and 2007.
– In the team's single meeting this season, on May 26, Houston won 2-1 at the BBVA Compass Stadium – Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy a tenth minute lead but an own goal from Mike Magee levelled the scores and Andre Hainault grabbed the winner after 57 minutes.
– This final is the meeting of the lowest combined seeds ever to reach the championship match – Galaxy finished fourth in the Western division, Houston were fifth in the Eastern.
– Their regular season head-to-head record is very close – Each has six wins apiece with four draws. The goals have been scored 19-18 in Houston's favour
– Houston will be looking to end a Western dominance in the competition, with nine of the last eleven finals going West.

21.23 But, of course, there are 21 other players on the field tonight, including Team USA's greatest ever forward Landon Donovan and another familiar name Robbie Keane, who has been in outstanding form.

Houston, meanwhile, have Glaswegian Adam Moffat in midfield, formerly of Ross County and Elgin City, and Ricardo Clark, whom you might recall from the 2010 World Cup.

Familiar faces: Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan (below) will feature up front for the LA Galaxy tonight

Familiar faces: Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan (below) will feature up front for the LA Galaxy tonight

Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy

21.15 It may be all banners and tributes tonight, but remember that it wasn't so long ago that Beckham was being criticised by fans and teammates alike for being over-papped, over-paid and over here.

But he's slowly won them over, scoring 20 goals in his 116 LA Galaxy appearances over the last six years and helping them to three MLS Cup finals.

21.13 There's some history here… In fact, tonight's match is a rerun of last year's MLS Cup final, also played at the Home Depot. Here's a reminder of how that went:

21.09 But while most of us are hoping for a fantasy farewell for Beckham as he packs he bags for the south of France or wherever else he's wanted, this game isn't going to be easy.

The Galaxy have certainly struck form at the right time – after scraping into the play-offs following a fourth place finish in the Western Conference, they have overcome the Vancouver Whitecaps, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders to make the final.

Meanwhile, Houston finished fifth in the Eastern Conference, meaning they had to overcome Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls and DC United to get this far.

21.05 The man of the moment has arrived, looking debonair as usual in his LA Galaxy suit. Meanwhile, all around the Home Depot, which is of course the home of the Galaxy, the supporters have prepared their own tributes.

Commeth the hour: David Beckham arrives at the Home Depot Center for the MLS Cup final and his farewell appearance for LA Galaxy

Commeth the hour: David Beckham arrives at the Home Depot Center for the MLS Cup final and his farewell appearance for LA Galaxy

Tributes: These Galaxy fans prepared a banner to pay tribute to their hero

Tributes: These Galaxy fans prepared a banner to pay tribute to their hero

Fans of LA Galaxy's David Beckham display banners before the MLS Cup Final at the Home Depot Center

21.02 Manchester to Madrid to Los Angeles (via short stop-offs in Preston and Milan)… That has been the career path of David Beckham over the past two decades.

Who knows what the future may hold – the man himself doesn't, as Ian Ladyman found out when he caught up with Becks at Galaxy training this week.

And our man in California has this to start setting the scene:

'It’s all rather ‘Manchester’ here in Los Angeles as kick-off approaches. The sun did show its face over Venice Beach this morning but it’s raining here in Carson as the supporters start to gather inside Home Depot. They are expecting a full-house of just over 30,000 and have even erected some temporary seating to squeeze a few more in. We hope it’s going to be worth it.'

21.00 The latest chapter in the tale of David Beckham has almost been written – but just one blank page remains.

Will it be the fairytale finale to his American adventure or a crushing disappointment that forces him to eek another few years out of those golden legs

A warm welcome to our coverage of the 2012 MLS Cup final between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo – Beckham's farewell appearance.

Kick-off is fast approaching and you won't miss a moment here with us.

Farewell: David Beckham will line up alongside Robbie Keane for a final time

Farewell: David Beckham will line up alongside Robbie Keane for a final time

David Beckham latest: West Ham manager wants LA Galaxy midfielder

If he's fit, I'd love to have Beckham at West Ham! Big Sam joins the queue

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UPDATED:

09:32 GMT, 22 November 2012

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has stated his desire to bring David Beckham to the club – as long as he can prove his fitness.

The 37-year-old midfielder, who was born in east London, this week stated his intention to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the year and the Hammers have been one of a number of clubs linked with him since.

In demand: David Beckham will soon be a free agent with his last game for LA Galaxy approaching

In demand: David Beckham will soon be a free agent with his last game for LA Galaxy approaching

'Yes, I would like to see a fit David Beckham at West Ham,' Allardyce told The Sun.

'But he would need to come and do a fitness test like any other player.'

Former England captain Beckham stated he will leave the Galaxy following the December 1 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo, saying he wanted 'one last challenge' before the end of his playing career.

Interested: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he would love to have Beckham at Upton Park

Interested: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he would love to have Beckham at Upton Park

Allardyce's admission, however, comes just a day after a Hammers source told Sportsmail that it is doubtful the club would explore a move.

The source close to the club said: ‘David is an excellent footballer, but he is 38 in May and would not be right for the club.

'The owners have plenty of ambitious plans and, right now, Beckham isn’t included in that.

On the ball: Allardyce says Beckham would have to prove his fitness if the Hammers were to make a move

On the ball: Allardyce says Beckham would have to prove his fitness if the Hammers were to make a move

‘If the club were struggling, he would be an option, but that isn’t the case. They want to look to the future, but wish him well for his next move.

‘Lots of clubs will want to be linked with him, but West Ham will not be interested in signing him.

'They are very happy with the signing of Matt Jarvis.'

David Beckham quits LA Galaxy

Beckham eyes next move after revealing he is quitting LA Galaxy… but it is Australia, China or even England now

PUBLISHED:

01:08 GMT, 20 November 2012

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UPDATED:

07:39 GMT, 20 November 2012

David Beckham is to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy – but has set his sights on one more challenge before retiring.

The 37-year-old is in line to end his six-year Galaxy stay in style as they defend their MLS Cup title against the Houston Dynamo on December 1.

He said: '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.

Time's up: Beckham wants to 'experience one last challenge' before hanging up his boots

Time's up: Beckham wants to 'experience one last challenge' before hanging up his boots

Beckham can expect the offers to start flooding in, particularly from growth leagues in Australia and China. There will also be some interest from England, although it is unlikely he will return there.

Australian club Melbourne Heart have confirmed they will try to lure Beckham to the A-League club.

Chief executive Scott Munn said the club planned to offer the midfielder a 10 week contract worth around 1million but they faced competition from at least two Australian clubs plus others from around the world.

Munn told Fox News: 'We're putting forward an offer, it's compelling and the opportunity is here for him to come here.

'That is absolutely legitimate. Let's let David get through next week, play the final of the MLS and hopefully he'll have a win. Then I'm sure he'll assess every offer.'

His final game will take place at the
Galaxy's own Home Depot Center, where he arrived on the American stage
as the first designated player in MLS back in 2007.

'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 added.

'In my time here I have seen the
popularity of the game grow every year. 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.'

Landmark signing: Beckham has enjoyed five seasons with the LA Galaxy celebrating the MLS Cup in 2011 (below)

Landmark arrival: Beckham has enjoyed five seasons with then Galaxy celebrating the MLS Cup in 2011 (below)

Landmark signing: Beckham has enjoyed five seasons with the LA Galaxy celebrating the MLS Cup in 2011 (below)

American Dream: Beckham has helped change the face of the MLS

American Dream: Beckham has helped change the face of the MLS

Beckham had an option in his initial deal with the league that allowed him to take a future ownership role in a franchise.

Beckham's stint in Los Angeles brought success in the form of the Galaxy's third MLS Cup crown last year.

But he also faced repeated criticism
from some Galaxy fans, particularly early on in his stay, for a
perceived lack of commitment to the cause.

Two loan stints at AC Milan, during
the second of which he tore an Achilles tendon, as he attempted to keep
his place in the England team did little to help that perception, as
well as comments made while in Italy about the standard of football in
America.

Two low points arrived back in 2009
when Beckham confronted a fan during a match after his every touch was
booed and attracted criticism from team-mate Landon Donovan.

Since then he has won over many
supporters, in no small part due to a dramatic upturn in form over the
last two seasons, and he was voted the league's best player by fans
earlier this year, although his detractors still remain, particularly
among the club's hardcore followers known as the LA Riot Squad.

Beckham was brought to America as
much for the effect of his brand as his on-field ability, and MLS
commissioner Don Garber believes he has been successful in helping to
grow the sport.

Famous faces: The former England skipper meets US president Barack Obama

Famous faces: The former England skipper meets US president Barack Obama

'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,' he said.

'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.'

Beckham's initial contract with the league included a clause allowing him to be involved in owning an expansion team down the line.

Beckham negotiated his deal to join the Galaxy while at Real Madrid at the start of 2007, when he was out of favour with then coach Fabio Capello.

In Spain he added one league title to the six he won in England with United, as well as one FA Cup and a Champions League title in 1999 during United's storied treble season.

Capello later made Beckham a big part his England team – after being sidelined and subsequently recalled by previous manager Steve McClaren – ensuring he became the country's most capped outfield player.

The Achilles injury suffered at Milan ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup, however, and he was surprisingly left out of Stuart Pearce's Great Britain Olympic squad this summer.

Beckham factfile

1975: Born Leytonstone, May 2.

1991: Joins Manchester United as trainee.

1992: Makes debut against Brighton in the League Cup on September 23. Wins FA Youth Cup.

1993: Signs professional contract at Old Trafford.

1995: Joins Preston on loan in February and scores two goals in five games.

1996: Helps United to Premier League and FA Cup double.
Scores goal of the season on opening day at Wimbledon, lobbing Neil Sullivan from the halfway line. Makes his England debut in the 3-0 win in Moldova.

1997: Collects another championship winners' medal, voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

1998: Scores first England goal, a free-kick against Colombia in Lens on June 26. Sent off in second-round penalty shoot-out defeat against Argentina.

1999: Helps United win the Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup after coming from behind to beat Bayern Munich with two late goals.
Runner-up in World Player of the Year awards, behind Rivaldo.

2000: May – Collects fourth championship winner's medal as United win title by a record 18 points.
November – Named England captain for the November friendly with Italy in Turin by stand-in boss Peter Taylor.

2001: May – Collects another Premier League title with United.
October – Curls in a 25-yard last-minute free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford to earn England a 2-2 draw and send them into World Cup finals.

2002: May 11 – Signs new three-year contract reported to be worth between 90,000 and 100,000 a week.
June 7 – Scores from the penalty spot in the World Cup group stage match against Argentina to seal a 1-0 win.
England bow out in the quarter-finals at the hands of eventual winners Brazil.

2003: February – Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson accidentally kicks a boot into Beckham's face in frustration at United's FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.
June 14 – Awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to football.
June 17 – United announce they have accepted a 25million bid from Real Madrid for Beckham, who agrees personal terms.

2004: June 24 – Misses a penalty as England lose to Portugal in a shoot-out in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals in Lisbon.

2005: November: Captains England for 50th time in friendly against Argentina in Geneva.
July 2 – Stands down as England captain.
August 11 – Dropped from squad for friendly against Greece, Steve McClaren's first match as manager.

2007: January 11 – Beckham announces he will leave Real Madrid and join Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy on a five-year contract in August.
January 13 – Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello says Beckham will never play for the club again.
May 26 – McClaren hands Beckham a shock England recall for matches against Brazil and Estonia.
June – Wins the La Liga title with Madrid, having won back his place in the team.
August 16 – Beckham scores his first goal for Galaxy on his full debut in the SuperLiga semi-final meeting with DC United with a trademark free-kick.

2008: March 26 – Wins 100th cap in the friendly against France.
October 30 – Milan announce Beckham will join them on loan on January 7, 2009.

2009: January 11 – Makes shock first start for Milan in 2-2 Serie A draw at Roma.
March 9 – AC Milan announce that under a unique 'timeshare' agreement, Beckham will stay with them in Italy until the end of the season, return to the Galaxy from July to October and then rejoin the Serie A club for the rest of the 2009-10 campaign.
March 28 – Comes on as a half-time substitute against Slovakia at Wembley to win his 109th cap and break Bobby Moore's record for an outfield player.
July 20, 27 – Twice confronts fans who gave him a hostile reception in his first home games after returning to the Galaxy.

2010: March 14 – Tears his Achilles tendon in AC Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo – an injury that rules him out of the World Cup.
June – Part of England's backroom staff for World Cup campaign which ends in second-round defeat to Germany.
August 11 – England career appears to be at an end when Capello tells ITV: 'Probably he is a little bit old.'

2011: November 20 – Wins the MLS Cup as the Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the final.
December 31 – Five-year deal at the Galaxy expires.

2012: January 19 – Re-signs with the Galaxy.
June 28 – Announces he has not been included in Team GB's squad for the Olympic Games.
November 16 – Football Federation Australia claim a representative of Beckham approaches them with a view to the midfielder making a short-term move to the A-League in the MLS off-season. A Beckham spokesman says his client has “absolutely no plans to play in Australia”.
November 20 – Confirms he is to leave the Galaxy after MLS Cup on December 1.

David Beckham"s boys gorge on hotdogs, pizza and goals as Daddy delivers LA Galaxy win… with a little help from Robbie Keane

Beckham boys gorge on hotdogs, pizza and goals as Daddy David delivers Galaxy win… with a little help from two-goal Keane

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UPDATED:

11:36 GMT, 12 November 2012

Daddy didn't become England captain on a diet of hotdogs and pizza… but that didn't stop the three Beckham boys chomping through a snack list of junk food as they watched their father cruise to victory in the MLS play-offs last night.

Robbie Keane scored two and set up another as Beckham's LA Galaxy beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 to take a commanding lead in the first leg of the Major League Soccer Western Conference finals.

Relishing the match: Cruz (left) and Romeo Beckham chomp on hotdogs as dad David stars in LA Galaxy's 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders last night

Relishing the match: Cruz (left) and Romeo Beckham chomp on hotdogs as dad David stars in LA Galaxy's 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders last night

David Beckham plays in a MLS play-off home game between LA Galaxy and Seattle

Beckham in action at The Home Depot Cente

Woah boys: David Beckham feels the pressure during LA Galaxy's 3-0 MLS play-off victory at the Home Depot Center last night, as he three sons snacked on junk food in the stands

We're here, Dad: Cruz tries to catch his father's attention while big brother Brooklyn (right) tackles a slice of pizza

We're here, Dad: Cruz tries to catch his father's attention while big brother Brooklyn (right) tackles a slice of pizza

Play me in: Becks was still visibly frustrated, despite his side's comfortable win

Play me in: Becks was still visibly frustrated, despite his side's comfortable win

Mike Magee added the other goal for
defending champions who will head to Seattle next Sunday in prime
position to earn their third MLS Cup appearance in four years.

The Beckham brothers Brooklyn, Romeo
and Cruz clearly enjoyed themselves in the stands at The Home Depot
Center, waving to their dad and smiling throughout the 90-minute rout.

Mum Victoria was not present and the boys took advantage by tucking into their favourite treats.

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

If LA survive and Houston Dynamo wrap-up the Eastern Conference finals after beating DC United 3-1 in the first leg earlier Sunday, the MLS Cup would be a rematch of last season's game, which David Beckham and the Galaxy won at Home Depot Center.

Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie each scored second-half goals at Houston to give the Dynamo the win over United.

Nick DeLeon scored for United in the 27th minute.

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

The win gives Houston a two-goal aggregate lead heading into next Sunday's decisive match at RFK Stadium in Washington. United will have to win that match by three goals to advance.

The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 games, dating to June 18, 2011. Houston are four wins or draws away from matching Real Salt Lake's league-record 34-game home unbeaten run.

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Keane on you: Robbie Keane's wife Claudine and son Robert Ronan Jnr cheer on Galaxy last night

Keane on you: Robbie Keane's wife Claudine and son Robert Ronan Jnr cheer on Galaxy last night

David Beckham and Robbie Keane inspire LA Galaxy to victory over Seattle

Beckham and Keane inspire LA Galaxy to victory over Seattle in step towards MLS Cup glory

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UPDATED:

06:27 GMT, 12 November 2012

Robbie Keane scored two and set up another as LA Galaxy beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 on Sunday to take a commanding lead in the first leg of the Major League Soccer Western Conference finals.

Mike Magee added the other goal for defending champions who will head to Seattle next Sunday in prime position to earn their third MLS Cup appearance in four years.

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

Brace yourself: Keane scored twice as Galaxy eased to victory over Seattle

If LA survive and Houston Dynamo wrap-up the Eastern Conference finals after beating DC United 3-1 in the first leg earlier Sunday, the MLS Cup would be a rematch of last season's game, which David Beckham and the Galaxy won at Home Depot Center.

Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie each scored second-half goals at Houston to give the Dynamo the win over United.

Nick DeLeon scored for United in the 27th minute.

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

Double delight: The former Premier League heroes inspired Galaxy to victory

The win gives Houston a two-goal aggregate lead heading into next Sunday's decisive match at RFK Stadium in Washington. United will have to win that match by three goals to advance.

The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 games, dating to June 18, 2011. Houston are four wins or draws away from matching Real Salt Lake's league-record 34-game home unbeaten run.

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

Over he goes: Keane performed his famous celebration after scoring for Galaxy

NBA: James Harden inspires Houston Rockets to beat Detroit Pistons

50m Rocket man Harden starts NBA season with a bang as Houston beat Detroit

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UPDATED:

10:26 GMT, 1 November 2012

Houston Rockets opened their NBA season with a stirring 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday thanks to James Harden's 37 points and 12 assists.

Houston acquired Harden on Saturday in a trade with Oklahoma City and agreed a five-year, 50million contract extension with him.

Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth before Carlos Delfino's four three-pointers and Harden shifted the momentum to Houston.

A pretty penny: Houston Rockets signed James Harden (right) on an eye-watering 50m contract

A pretty penny: Houston Rockets signed James Harden (right) on an eye-watering 50m contract

Star man: Harden (left) goes to the basket past Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight

Rocket man: Harden (13) drives past Detroit Pistons centre Greg Monroe

Star man: Harden drives to the basket on his way to a big haul of 37 points against Detroit Pistons

Brandon Knight led Detroit's scoring with 15 points.

At Toronto, George Hill scored the winning basket with two seconds left to complete the Indiana Pacers' rally for a season-opening 90-88 win over the Raptors.

David West scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Paul George had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who trailed 84-74 with just under six minutes left. Roy Hibbert added 14 points for Indiana.

Kyle Lowry shone for Toronto with 21 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA debut. Andrea Bargnani had 16 points, and Jose Calderon added 15 for the Raptors.

Decisive: Indiana Pacers' George Hill (right) scored the winning basket against the Toronto Raptors

Decisive: Indiana Pacers' George Hill (right) scored the winning basket against the Toronto Raptors

Three-pointer: San Antonio's Tony Parker

Three-pointer: San Antonio's Tony Parker

San Antonio's Tim Duncan scored 24 points and Tony Parker hit a huge three-pointer as the Spurs opened the season with a 99-95 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in the debut for top draft pick Anthony Davis. Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

In other games, Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Chicago Bulls' 93-87 win over Sacramento Kings. Richard Hamilton added 19 points, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to an 84-75 win over the Denver Nuggets, while Mo Williams and Marvin Williams each scored 21 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 113-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Golden State's Carl Landry scored 12 of his 17 points in the in the fourth quarter as the Warriors overcame an awful post-contract night by Stephen Curry to edge past the Phoenix Suns 87-85 in the teams' season opener.

Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, 27million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up two of 14 with five points.

Maurice Edu agrees personal terms with Stoke

Edu set for Stoke switch after Rangers midfielder agrees personal terms

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 25 August 2012

Stoke have confirmed they have agreed personal terms with Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu.

The 26-year-old United States international will now undergo a medical before completing the transfer for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.

If the deal goes through, Edu will link up with American compatriot Geoff Cameron, who recently arrived at the Britannia Stadium from Houston Dynamo.

Moving on: Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu is heading to Stoke

Moving on: Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu is heading to Stoke