David Beckham has been a marketer's dream since joining the L.A. Galaxy in 2007, but his on-field contribution has often lagged behind the hype machine.
That has begun to change over the last 18 months, as the former England captain has become a consistent top performer in Major League Soccer.
Beckham scored in trademark fashion on Saturday night to seal L.A.'s 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. The free kick was his seventh goal of the season and fourth in his last six games.
The 37-year-old followed up a stellar 2011 season — in which he became an MLS Cup winner and earned Best 11 recognition — with a solid 2012 campaign. His seven goals are a new personal best, improving on the five he scored in 2008.
Perhaps Beckham's improved performances coincide with the end of his international career. Or it could be that he has adapted to the league and fully settled in Los Angeles. If he keeps banging in goals like this one, Galaxy fans will pardon Beckham's many interruptions and ride his right foot into the playoffs.
Watch Beckham bury the free kick in the video below.
Photo via Twitter/@MLS_Insider