CARSON, Calif. — Before David Beckham can convert America into a soccer nation, he'll need to learn the lingo.After saying his family came first, he said the second most important thing "is the foot-, is the soccer."
"I'll get used to that at some point. I'm sorry," Beckham said.
The sports superstar and pop culture "it" guy was officially introduced at his home stadium Friday amid a cannon of confetti and a roar of cheers.
Beckham quickly recognized his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy will take some adjusting. Even simple things, as in what to call his sport — it's football in the rest of the world.
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His brief slip drew some scattered boos, which turned into laughs.
An estimated 5,000 soccer enthusiasts — and new Beckham fans — sat in the stands as "Becks" was introduced and held up his new No. 23 jersey.
"My family have now moved to Los Angeles, something we're looking forward to, something we're very proud of, and in our life everything's perfect," Beckham said from a stage set up on the playing field.
"So, on to my new challenge. This is one of the biggest challenges I have ever taken on in my career, to move to a different country, the other side of the world, something that I'm looking forward to."
Wearing a crisp gray suit and sporting a buzz cut and a stubbly chin, Beckham smiled as he walked onto the field as the loudspeakers blared the refrain, "Hello, America."
His wife Victoria, aka Posh Spice, wore a stylish fuchsia dress with matching color alligator bag and posed for photos, turning and preening, before the presentation began.
The crowd consisted mostly of youngsters, with teenage girls the most prominent group. Their scattered screams gave the welcome party a rock star vibe.
"He's a celebrity and a great soccer player," 15-year-old Taylor Markham said.
Her friend Alyssa Bricker, also a 15-year-old soccer player, said, "I can't wait to see him start playing."
Asked if she thought Beckham was handsome, Bricker said, "Oh, yeah. He's hot."
And his wife?
"She's pretty," Bricker said. "And very lucky."
The Galaxy has switched team colors to coincide with Beckham's arrival, going from the familiar green and gold to navy, white and gold.
His new Los Angeles jersey's most dominant lettering was a corporate sponsor listed on the front.
The 32-year-old midfielder signed a five-year contract with the Galaxy in January that will pay him $32.5 million in salary.
He joined the Major League Soccer team from Real Madrid, where he showed he still can "bend it" on free kicks. Coming on strong late in the season, Beckham helped Real Madrid win the Spanish League title last month.
Beckham's play also was impressive enough for him to regain a spot on England's national team, which he formerly captained.
Saying he wanted to help soccer grow in the United States, Beckham said, "I'm going to be part of that for the next five years and maybe a few years beyond that."
Although Beckham has insisted it wasn't the lure of Hollywood that landed him in Los Angeles, he and his wife and their three children arrived in Tinseltown on Thursday night with enough star qualities to move them near the top of the glitterati.
They include Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes among their best friends, and Victoria will be featured in a one-hour special on NBC on July 16 titled "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America."
Still, Beckham has said his focus would be on the soccer pitch and not on Hollywood glitz and their home in Beverly Hills.
Beckham's first game for the Galaxy will be an exhibition against a familiar opponent, Chelsea FC of the English Premier League, on July 21 in Carson.