West Ham United have arrived in North America for the club's high-profile tour that will culminate in the prestigious Major League Soccer All-Star Game.
Fresh from a positive 4-2 win and work-out against Hampton and Richmond Borough in the opening pre-season friendly on Thursday night, the squad were travelling to Ohio first for a game against MLS side Columbus Crew. They arrived on Friday evening in readiness for training on Saturday. The match is scheduled for 5pm local time on Sunday with temperatures expected to be above the 30C mark.
Alan Curbishley and the team will then go on to Toronto, Canada after being invited to take on the MLS All-Stars next Thursday (24 July) at a sold-out BMO Field. It promises to be a hugely competitive affair with a large global audience seeing the club in action against the best in North American talent. Chief among them will be England midfielder David Beckham. Return regularly to whufc.com for full text, photo and video coverage and plenty of news and interviews.
Ten tour facts
* Columbus are one of the founding clubs of the MLS since its formation in 1996. They boast a number of internationals including veteran US defender Frankie Hejduk.
* More than 30 pieces of extra equipment are needed as part of the club-organised trip including the Umbro playing and training kit, dozens of boots and extensive medical and sports science equipment.
* Luis Boa Morte has played in the MLS All-Star Game before - being part of Fulham's team that lost 4-1 in 2005 - a match played at Columbus's Crew Stadium.
* London based singer Estelle is performing at the MLS half-time show, singing her hit American Boy.
* Dean Ashton and David Beckham are set to be on opposite sides, having lined up together for England back on 1 June in a friendly away to Trinidad and Tobago.
* Former Liverpool midfielder Steve Nicol, now coach of the New England Revolution, will be managing the MLS All-Stars.
* The BMO Field uses a state of the art Fieldturf surface that was installed in April 2007 and has FIFA recommended status.
* In four previous games with overseas oppositions, the MLS All-Stars have won every single game.
* The MLS All-Stars boast two players with Barclays Premier League experience in Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel while other big names set to play include Canada midfielder Dwayne De Rosario and US striker Landon Donovan.
* Setanta Sports will be showing the MLS All-Star game live in the United Kingdom, with kick-off set to be at midnight London time.