Soccer legend slated to hit city turf May 13


Soccer superstar David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy will be kicking it into Edmonton this spring to renew their grudge match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.



In officially announcing the game, set for May 13 at Commonwealth Stadium, organizers recognized it’s really all about Beckham.


After all, wherever the international icon and his pop star wife Victoria Beckham — Posh Spice — turn up, the throngs of cameras, celebrity sightseers and sporting fans follow.

“He is an individual who transcends the sport or soccer. He is, I think, one of the most recognizable figures in the world,” said Vancouver Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi, who is hoping the match will become the start of regular exhibition games in the city.

Beckham will play for at least half the game in Edmonton, he said, and the match will be rescheduled if he’s injured or unable to attend.

The Edmonton match will be a repeat of the friendly the two teams played at Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium last November. Over 48,000 fans turned up to witness the scoreless draw.

Alexi Lalas, president of the Los Angeles Galaxy, summed up the Beckham experience as a “phenomenon” that will help grow the sport of soccer.

“It’s a spectacle. It’s a moment in time,” he said of the upcoming match. “You’re going to want to say that you were there…. We build sports for these types of moments.”

Soccer stars Landon Donovan and Carlos Ruiz will also be in the Galaxy lineup, with tickets going on sale Mar. 10, ranging from $25 to $85.

Beckham has a love-hate relationship with fans in his home country, England. He led several teams to league titles but he was never able to captain England to victory in the World Cup.

Many view his massive $250-million contract over five years with the Galaxy as a sign that he’s in the twilight of his career, but Lalas thinks otherwise.

“He looks at every time that he stops on the field, especially in a new place, as an opportunity to prove himself and to live up to some very lofty expectations,” he said.