English superstar David Beckham announced Monday that he will leave the Los Angeles Galaxy after MLS Cup on Dec. 1, ending a six-year tenure in which he helped raise the profile of the young American league.

“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. 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. I’ve been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I’ve had from fans in L.A. 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, 37, will make his final official appearance for the Galaxy in the league championship game against the Houston Dynamo at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

“There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived,” Commissioner Don Garber said. “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.” Video: