Beckham unsure of All-Star status with Olympics ahead
CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham says he's excited to take part in the MLS All-Star Game. He's just not sure he can make it.
The LA Galaxy midfielder, who was selected in a fan vote to the MLS First XI for the July 25 match against Chelsea at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., is sorting out his Olympic responsibilities after he was snubbed for the Great Britain team. Until those have been finalized, nothing is concrete.
“I've been speaking to [London Games organizing committee chairman] Seb Coe and a few other people about what I'm going to be doing,” Beckham told reporters on Thursday. “It's yet to be decided.
“At the moment, I don't know [if I will have to miss the All-Star Game]. I'm obviously very proud to have been picked for the All-Star team. It's something that I've enjoyed in the past, and hopefully I can be there, but with the Olympic commitment, I don't know yet.”
The Opening Ceremony is July 27 at the Olympic Stadium in East London, very near where Beckham grew up, and the Games go on through Aug. 12. It's possible he could miss the Galaxy's July 24 friendly against Tottenham Hotspur at The Home Depot Center, plus, depending on how extensive his ambassadorial duties in London, as many as three league games and the Aug. 2 World Football Championship match against Real Madrid.
Beckham hoped to be on the field for the unified British team in the men's soccer competition, but manager Stuart Pearce last month opted to fill the three over-23 slots on his 18-man roster with Liverpool's Craig Bellamy, Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Manchester City's Micah Richards.
He said Thursday, in his first media session since Pearce's decision, that no Olympic role could adequately make up for his not making the roster.
“Getting the Olympics is one of the proudest moments I've been involved with,” he said. “It was an incredible moment, and all the talk of me possibly performing in the Olympics, it would have been a very proud moment for me. To represent my country and do it in my hometown, on such a big stage, would have been incredible.
“Of course, I'm disappointed, but life goes on. My family are healthy, I'm pretty healthy, so at the end of the day, I'll be there to support the Great Britain team. We've got some incredible athletes all the way through every event. It's going to be a proud moment to be there and know I was part of bringing the Olympics to the East End of London.”
Beckham, part of the team that bid for the Games, is widely expected to have a role in the Opening Ceremony. Somebody has to light the cauldron – and some Olympic observers have floated his name as a candidate – but Beckham says it won't be him.
“I've always said lighting the torch in the stadium is something that should be done by an Olympian,” he said. “And an Olympian that has been and done incredible things for our country and won gold medals.”