It has never been done in soccer history and in all likelihood nothing like it will ever be done again, but David Beckham will do it next week.
On April 29, a week from Friday, the Galaxy midfielder will attend the royal wedding in London between Britain's Prince William and fiance Kate Middleton.
The next day, Beckham will be in Texas for the Galaxy's Major League Soccer game Sunday against FC Dallas.
In other words, Beckham will be accomplishing the rare, if not unique, Westminster Abbey-Pizza Hut Park doubleheader. Talk about your contrasts.
Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena is not thrilled by the whole thing but understands the priorities in play.
"Obviously, it's not ideal with the travel, but it's a royal wedding and those don't come around very often," Beckham said Thursday after practice in Carson. "So I'll be there for the game, but it'll be down to Bruce to decide if I play or not.
"I'll go to the wedding on Friday and then I'll fly out of London straight to Dallas on Saturday morning. I'll arrive before the [Galaxy] team. I'm used to the travel. I'll speak to the manager. It'll be down to the manager to see how I feel on the day of the game and I'll do everything right and do everything that is best for the team.
"Bruce understands and the club understands that obviously it's important. He knows that I'll be sacrificing the travel to turn up in Dallas. Bruce said to me, 'Do you want to not go to the game?' But it's important to me, it's important to the players, that they see me there."
Beckham said he and his wife, Victoria, and their three sons all would travel to London, but the children would not attend the wedding. Meanwhile, Arena said he was more concerned about Saturday night's match against the Portland Timbers than about anything Beckham might be up to.
"I don't comment on his social calendar," Arena said. "David's playing against Dallas."
--Grahame L. Jones
Photo: David Beckham watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the New Orleans Hornets during Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference first round playoff basketball game in L.A. on April 20, 2011. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters