With today being David Beckham's last match with the LA Galaxy, one question we've tried to answer is what type of impact will he have on the proceedings. Certainly I've been a bit down on his chances, as his impact has waned since his ankle injury. However, there's always the chance he returns to form.
Before the injury Beckham really was in fine form. No team has a great percentage of their goals from set pieces than the LA Galaxy with 8%. He also had more goals from outside the box than any other player this year in MLS with seven. However, since his ankle injury things haven't gone as well.
Beckham has hit just one of twenty nine open play crosses in the 2012 playoffs, and just three of thirty five since his ankle injury on September 1st. Beckham and Donovan both played through injuries throughout the 2011 playoffs, and it's looking like Beckham has been playing through an injury through this year's as well.
He's simply too good for it to be a simple talent drop-off. That being said, the reality remains that while the Galaxy have been ahead of the curve with goals from outside the box and off set pieces, the vast majority of their goals still come through the partnership of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.
Nine of Robbie Keane's sixteen goals this year have come off an assist from Landon Donovan. Only five of Donovan's assists were to players not named Robbie Keane. Given that both players finished in the top five of their respective statistics, that's quite an impressive pairing.
So will Beckham be able to dig down deep and give Galaxy fans something to remember him by. Never discount the power of emotion. However, don't let emotion get in the way of the evidence.
Stats courtesy of Opta Sport and Patrick Johnston.