Correct me if I'm wrong, but there does seem to be a fairly recent trend in suggesting that 'soccer' is a US-English term for what we know as football. It's complete rubbish, of course. I remember Soccer Special on the TV in the 70s, and I think there used to be a comic aimed at boys called Soccer, too.
If I remember right, Association Football was nicknamed 'soccer' by posh kids at independent schools to distinguish it from the (then more prestigious) Rugby Football or 'rugger'.
So if Becks is now playing soccer for LA Galaxy, he stands in a fine English linguistic tradition and he needs to claim the word back on behalf of this side of the Atlantic, along with 'posse', 'gotten' (features in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer) and various other alleged Americanisms.