It's one of the biggest events on English soil since Charles and Diana married and David Beckham isn't about to miss it. And when he travels home next week for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, he'll have the Galaxy's blessing.
The superstar midfielder and his wife, Victoria, will attend next Friday's nuptials at Westminster Abbey, and he'll be on the plane to Dallas the following day for the Galaxy's game against FC Dallas two days after the wedding.
It sets up a difficult few days for Beckham, one of England's foremost public figures, who will travel more than 10,000 miles in the days before the critical rematch of last year's Western Conference title game. If all that travel proves too sapping, he has coach Bruce Arena's permission to skip the match.
"I'm used to the travel," Beckham said Thursday. "It will be down to the manager, you know? I'll speak to the manager to see how I feel on the day of the game, and I'll do everything right and do everything which is best for the team. If I don't feel that I'll be able to play in the game, it's more important how we're going to win these games."
Not as important as the wedding, perhaps, which clearly seems the priority here, and it shouldn't be the Galaxy's priority.
"Obviously, it's not ideal with the travel," Beckham acknowledged, "but it's a royal wedding, and those don't come around very often."
Beckham said Arena asked him if he preferred to skip the game entirely, to fly home from London more leisurely, "but it's important I'm there [at the game]. It's important the players see me there."
Said Galaxy captain Landon Donovan: "The positive is that if anyone can do it, it's him. He's traveled the world and done this many times. So he understands what it's about, and the only expectation for us is that he, like always, shows up and is ready to train and is ready to play, and as long as he does that, it's no issue."
Arena declined to discuss Beckham's trek or how it might affect the Galaxy, responding to a question about his star's wedding plans: "Why are you worried about that? Write something about soccer. ... I don't comment on his social calendar."
Arena then joked that he planned to watch "TMZ," a celebrity news show on the Fox network, "and get all the updates on everything and make sure I understand." Asked a few minutes later about how Benny Feilhaber might fare in New England's system, he said: "I don't even know what I'm doing. I mean, I'm worried about the wedding next week. I'm going. That's the news. I'm going to be the best man. You didn't know that?"
The Beckhams will take their three sons to London, but the boys won't attend the wedding, Beckham said.