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Beckham to open soccer academy in the United States

CARSON, Calif. (AP) _ Some American youngsters will have a chance to learn how to ``Bend It Like Beckham.''

David Beckham, who stars for England and Real Madrid, will be a partner in a soccer academy set to open this fall at the Home Depot Center in Carson, a Los Angeles suburb.

The 30-year-old midfielder joined Simon Fuller, creator of television's ``American Idol,'' and Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, Thursday to unveil plans for The David Beckham Academy.

The same group earlier announced an academy in London, part of an arena and entertainment district that AEG is building.

``It's about kids coming down, getting off the streets, having fun. If we find great new talent, then that's good,'' Beckham, whose name is in the title of the 2002 movie ``Bend It Like Beckham,'' told AP Television News.

``But the most important thing, the kids (are) coming down, they're learning about football, they're learning about their body and injuries that you can get. And also, they're having fun,'' he said.

The academy initially will focus on children 8 to 15 years old. The opening is set for November.

Beckham, the world's most recognized soccer player, is married to Victoria Adams, the former Posh Spice. He's also a style icon, with London tabloids tracking his hairstyle from buzz cut to mohawk and noting when gel or blond dye is applied.

Asked if he might move to the United States at some point, Beckham said, ``Yeah, I think it's always a possibility. In my career, things have happened and situations have happened and I never, ever thought that I'd be playing anywhere apart from England. But I'm playing in Spain now, and there is an opportunity to come to America, and I am thinking about it, definitely.''
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