Woods - This is a great adventure for the team

  • Woods enjoyed a successful spell with Colorado Rapids as a player

  • The Hammers goalkeeping coach was also part of the USA coaching staff

  • West Ham face Seattle Sounders and Carolina RailHawks

Chris Woods is no stranger to life in America and will be looking forward to the Stateside tour when the Hammers arrive in Seattle and Carolina.

Following a memorable career in England where Woods lifted the European Cup with Nottingham Forest, the former England keeper flew out to the States and had a successful spell with Colorado Rapids.

The West Ham United goalkeeping coach has also been part of the USA coaching staff and is a big follower of the Major League Soccer.

Slaven Bilic and his players will jet out to America this weekend and will face two games, including a prestigious pre-season fixture with the Seattle Sounders, the best-supported and most-valuable franchise in Major League Soccer (MLS), on Tuesday 5 July, before facing North American Soccer League (NASL) team Carolina RailHawks on Tuesday 12 July.

Woods has no doubts that the experience will benefit all of the first-team players and hopes they can attract an even bigger fan base.

Woods said: “It is a great adventure for the team to go over to America with the way the game is thriving over there.

“I went there when the MLS first started and it has grown each year. They have got big fan bases and their own stadiums now.

“The way they are improving and selling out the games with the top players coming into the league shows they are moving forward.

“Hopefully we can attract a lot more supporters and I know there are West Ham fans there already.

“With the Club moving into the new Stadium it is going to have a massive appeal to everybody.

“Kaka has joined Orlando and you have the New York teams. The game is on the up and it is attractive for the supporters that you get the top players who go there.”

Woods is especially looking forward to the first game in Seattle and the chance to meet up with a number of familiar faces.

He added: “There will be a great atmosphere for the Seattle game and I have been there to see a game. There is non-stop singing and I know some of the players there.

“They will be desperate to beat us and it will be a great occasion. They will see it as a scalp and there are no easy games.”