Bend the curve with Beckham? Ranking the best experiences in MLS's All In Challenge auction

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Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder and current Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham is offering fans the chance to play in a pickup game against him. (Getty)
Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder and current Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham is offering fans the chance to play in a pickup game against him. (Getty)

Major League Soccer has officially joined other sports leagues in offering its supporters an All In Challenge, an auction of experiences to benefit organizations providing food to the hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The digital fundraiser has gained a ton of traction among athletes, entertainers and other celebrities since being launched by Michael Rubin, the founder and chairman of apparel maker Fanatics. A lucky NFL fan will win dinner with six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady. Basketball lovers can vie to play 3-on-3 with Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

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MLS commissioner Don Garber announced his league’s involvement on Wednesday. The sweepstakes winner’s signature will replace Garber’s on MLS match balls when the league — which went dark because of the health crisis following the just second weekend of the 2020 season — eventually resumes.

Pretty cool, right? No question. But it’s probably still down the list of prizes for those who follow the top soccer league in the United States and Canada, which we rank in descending order right here:

5. Go on the road with the Colorado Rapids

The frugal Rapids haven’t enjoyed much success on the field since winning their only MLS Cup a decade ago, but getting a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road with a professional sports team still doesn’t come around every day. The opportunity wouldn’t come cheap — the starting bid of $2,500 has already been topped — but every cent of it will go to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

The winner will fly roundtrip on the team’s charter, stay at the team hotel, have access to the locker room before the game and grab dinner with coach Robin Fraser after it. They’ll also receive a game-worn jersey signed by the entire team as a memento. Not bad.

4. VIP trip to the 2021 MLS All-Star game

Not only will the winner of Garber’s donation get their name kicked around the field by the likes of reigning league MVP Carlos Vela, they’ll also receive a week-long, four person, all-expenses-paid trip to the 2021 MLS midsummer classic.

It remains to be seen exactly where that exhibition will be played — while the 2020 All-Star match is still officially set for late July in Los Angeles, it will almost certainly be cancelled — but does it really matter when your name is on the ball for the 2021 All-Star game, too?

3. Watch UT football with Austin FC co-owner Matthew McConaughey

The Oscar-winning actor and Austin native also loves the gridiron version of football and, specifically, his University of Texas Longhorns. UT alum McConaughey is giving one fan and their guest the opportunity to take in a game with him in his private suite at Texas Memorial Stadium:

In addition to roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations and ride-share vouchers, the lucky fan also gets a $1,200 check for a total estimated value of $5,200. All right.

2. Play 5-on-5 with David Beckham

Like Garber’s and McConaughey’s offers, Beckham’s is a steal, with bids starting at just 10 bucks. The potential return is even better. The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star, now the co-owner of 2020 expansion side Inter Miami, will form a team to face off against a fan’s five-man squad in a pickup game at the club’s practice facility in Fort Lauderdale.

The package also includes travel and hotel, lunch with Becks — who sported a fresh Coronavirus crew-cut in the video announcing the opportunity — as well as an invitation to his suite to watch a match.

LAFC co-owner/super fan Will Ferrell. (Leopoldo Smith/Getty)
LAFC co-owner/super fan Will Ferrell. (Leopoldo Smith/Getty)

1. Join Will Ferrell in the LAFC owners box

As Ricky Bobby might say, if you ain’t first you’re last. With all due respect to the others, this is a no-brainer. Who knows what sort of antics the hilarious Anchorman and Elf star (and LAFC co-owner) will get up to over the course of 90 minutes or even afterward, when Ferrell has been known to crash no-nonsense coach Bob Bradley’s press conferences.

Four match tickets, two hotel nights and more are included, which should make for a pretty nice little Saturday. But winning won’t come cheap. By Wednesday afternoon, the leading bid was already north of $20,000, with more than three days still to go before the auction comes to an end.

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