“We also have a young up-and-comer on the team, a guy named David Beckham,” Obama said. “I have to say I gave David a hard time — I said half his teammates could be his kids.”
He then turned to the midfielder.
“We’re getting old, David.”
Obama did take the time to praise Beckham, who came back from a spinal fracture midway through the season and a hamstring injury the week before the MLS Cup final.
“He is tough,” Obama said. “In fact, it is a rare man who can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear.”
Beckham, standing to Obama’s left in the front row, leaned back in laughter. The English star’s underwear with HM gained notoriety after a commercial showing Beckham posing in his line played during the Super Bowl.
The threat of thunderstorms moved the speech to the East Room, complete with extravagant chandeliers and ornate gold curtains, instead of the customary South Lawn. The Galaxy stood behind Obama in matching black suits and light blue and yellow ties. As Obama gave his remarks, the MLS Cup sat on a table to his right.
After the speech, Galaxy captain Landon Donovan gave the president a soccer ball and his own Los Angeles Galaxy jersey, with Obama and the No. 1 on the back. The group posed for the customary photo as Obama held up his jersey.
The resident left but the Galaxy weren’t done.
They were supposed to help Michelloe Obama conduct a soccer clinic with kids from various cities across the country on the South Lawn as a part of the Let’s Move! campaign, but inclement weather canceled the event. Instead, Beckham, Donovan, defenders A.J DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin and midfielder Mike Magee held a question-and-answer session with the kids.
While the athletes talked about their inspirations, nutrition and what they liked about soccer, the focus eventually came back to Beckham. He was singled out repeatedly by the children and asked everything from how he became the man he is today (“a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication”) to why he left Real Madrid.
“I had the opportunity to come to this great country for a different challenge, playing a sport that is not one of the biggest in the country, and I love challenges,” Beckham said.