China challenge excites Specs

Jonathan Spector will hope to make his first start of pre-season on Friday with the high-profile match in the Barclays Asia Trophy against Beijing Guoan.

The United States defender could figure from kick-off having come off the bench late on in the 1-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. The host club will be as eager as the Hammers to secure a victory, having lost on penalties to Hull City. A capacity crowd of 60,000-plus is likely to be in the Beijing Workers Stadium and temperatures will once again be in the high 30s.

Spector, who took part in a flagship Premier League Creating Chances community event on Thursday, said: "We were all disappointed to lose to Tottenham. It is about pre-season though and being ready for the upcoming season. We are excited though to be able to come to Beijing to play and play in front of the Chinese fans.

"It is nice to come here and the people have been great since we arrived. What is special here is how popular football is to everyone. To have the opportunity to come here and experience that is great. We are all looking forward to playing a team from China and seeing how we compare.

"The Tottenham match was played in a very different atmosphere to what we were used to but the fans were great. We had some over watching us and the Chinese supporters were really friendly."

Spector was a late arrival to the team training camp in Austria earlier this month because of his success in the FIFA Confederations Cup. The 23-year-old played every minute of every game in South Africa as the US went all the way to the final before losing 3-2 to Brazil.

He said: "We had a great run. It was publicised a lot at home which was nice but unusual in the US media for soccer. We were disappointed not to win in the final. In the end it was probably a fair result, Brazil are a fantastic team and they deserved it.

"It is nice to play all over the world and experience the different cultures and atmospheres. The fans I would say were great in South Africa, just as they are here."