Football: Boyens on cloud nine, but reality around corner

Andrew Boyens' future is a little unclear, but it will be a while before the smile leaves his face.

Boyens, the Kavanagh College old boy and former Dunedin Technical defender, was part of the Los Angeles Galaxy team that won the Major League Soccer Cup with a 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

He watched from the bench as superstar David Beckham made his final appearance for the American club.

Boyens (29) described the scenes at the Home Depot Center in California as ''amazing''.

''The atmosphere was electric. We had just over 30,000 in our home stadium,'' he told the Otago Daily Times in an email.

''It was one of the loudest games I've been a part of behind the play-off game in Wellington with the All Whites.

''It's been a fun-filled last few days with a lot of partying.''

The Galaxy also fielded former Tottenham and Liverpool striker Robbie Keane and American pin-up boy Landon Donovan.

But the biggest star in the Galaxy for the last five years has been English veteran Beckham, arguably the highest-profile footballer in the world next to Lionel Messi.

For a bloke from Dunedin, rubbing shoulders with Beckham - and getting to know him as a person, not as a cultural icon - has been exciting.

''It's been pretty impressive. He's a pretty amazing guy on and off the field,'' Boyens said.

''For someone to carry himself the way he does, with all the different kinds of pressures and commitments on him, and still perform the way he does on the pitch, is the most impressive part.''

Boyens is now something of an MLS veteran.

After being drafted out of the University of New Mexico, he played for Toronto FC (2007-08), the New York Red Bulls (2008-10) and Chivas USA (2011) before joining the Galaxy.

He started the first couple of games this season before missing three months due to sports hernia surgery.

Boyens has now been made available for the ''re-entry process''.

He and five Galaxy team-mates may be drafted to another club.

''I'm just not sure yet. I will know more over the next couple of weeks.''

Boyens remains keen to add to his list of caps (19 full) for the All Whites, but knows national selection is not getting any easier.

''We have such a great batch of defenders playing in good leagues around the world. It's hard to get in the team now.

''I don't think my injury and not playing helped me. I almost travelled to China for the last game but the Galaxy wouldn't release me due to our play-off commitments.''

Boyens, wife Claire and daughter Harriet will be back in Dunedin to catch up with family next month.

He has had to give his summer football camps a miss this year as he is participating in a professional coaching camp in late December.



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