Galaxy and Becks set for pre-season Asia tour

January 23, 2008

David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy will head to the Far East on a pre-season tour this March.

Full details of the schedule are yet to be finalised, including opponents and dates, but the Galaxy will visit a number of countries to play friendly games, with Korea expected to be included on the schedule.

A formal announcement is expected later this week.

'We are planning to visit Asia,' Galaxy spokesman Patrick Donnelly told PA Sport. 'We're looking at a few different countries. Korea is on the potential list of countries.'

The planned tour will allow the Galaxy to tap into David Beckham's huge popularity in Asia. Beckham's previous two clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid, were frequent visitors to the region during his time with them.

In November, MLS commissioner Don Garber revealed that the Galaxy had sold 700 times as many jerseys this season as last, with the increase almost exclusively down to Beckham's famous number 23.

Many of those jerseys were sold in Asia, where MLS games are now shown live.

The buzz came despite injury problems which limited Beckham to just a handful of appearances for the Galaxy in his first season.

The tour will also come on the back of the inaugural Pan-Pacific Championship, which is scheduled for late February in Hawaii. That friendly tournament will see the Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo matched against Japanese champions Gamba Osaka and an Australian club.

Beckham, 32, has spent much of the MLS off-season training with Arsenal in London as he aims to stay match fit ahead of England's friendly against Switzerland on February 6. If selected for that game, Beckham would earn his 100th cap for his country.

This week, Beckham has been in Sierra Leone as part of his role with UNICEF.

The most recognisable soccer player on the planet, Beckham joined the Galaxy from Madrid last July on a five-year contract worth up to $250 million (£125million) in salary and endorsements.

He has already fully repaid the guaranteed element of his contract in increased revenues through merchandising and rights.