The 22-man squad, which also includes American World Cup team star Landon Donovan, were welcomed by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, NSW Tourism Minister Jodi McKay and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

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They landed at 8.20am (AEDT) on Thursday after a 13-hour Qantas Boeing 747 flight from Las Angeles, before being taken onto one of the airline’s grounded A380 jets for a photo call.

“We’re honoured to be here, this is something the players have talked about and are excited about,” Beckham told reporters.

“We’re here to enjoy ourselves but also here to perform as well and hopefully win.”

The team will take on the Newcastle Jets at an exhibition match on Saturday night at Newcastle’s EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Beckham said reports that Victoria and their three boys would accompany him on the trip were incorrect.

“My wife and kids would obviously love to have been here but they’re celebrating Thanksgiving and Victoria’s just come back from a long trip working in Europe,” Beckham said.

“Unfortunately she wanted to come out but it wasn’t possible, but I’m sure she will at some point.”

The match is forecast to attract 23,000 fans and bring more than $1 million to the NSW economy.

Ms Keneally said it was “an absolute delight” to welcome the team.

LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said although the lengthy travel was difficult, the team would perform at its best.

“Everywhere we go we feel it’s our responsibility on the field to be a good team,” he said.

Beckham and the Galaxy last visited Australia in 2007, when they drew 80,000 to ANZ Stadium for a friendly against Sydney FC.

The Galaxy will engage in a range of other activities during their visit including surfing, meeting koalas and wine tasting in the Hunter Valley.

Their visit comes the week before the outcome of Australia’s bid for the 2022 World Cup will be revealed in early December.

After the welcome ceremony, the Galaxy transferred to a smaller Qantas jet to fly to Newcastle.