David Beckham's first visit to the USA came two decades before he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy. He talked about his trip to the Dallas Cup as a 13-year-old in a recent Observer Sport Monthly article:
"The Dallas Cup was one of my first trips abroad, maybe my first trip away with a team, which is probably why I remember it so well. As a team, we were close, a bunch of good mates, really. We each boarded with a family. The rest of the lads seemed to be staying with wealthier people: staying in big, big houses and getting ferried around in flash cars. They were all happy enough.
"But I stayed with a Mexican family. Their house definitely wasn't a mansion! They had a couple of boys, one older than me and one younger, who were in the tournament as well. The whole family collected me from the airport in a pick-up truck and, right from the off, they were so friendly. Every morning we'd be off down McDonald's for coffee and pancakes and syrup. I had the best time.
"Back then, there wasn't a professional league, obviously, but the standard at kids' level was very high, just like it is now. It was one of the toughest junior tournaments I played in. The chance for a kid my age to just go to America was amazing. To actually play in a tournament there was a great experience. When I was young, I used to get quite homesick, even just being away for a weekend in Manchester. Maybe all kids feel like that. But that week in Dallas was different. I loved it: the football, of course, but the people and the country as well. I just loved being in America."
Read the entire article HERE.