USA Tour Announced

16 June 2005

US Baggies raised a collective cheer when Albion's long awaited pre-season dates in California were finally announced earlier. They will play Major League Soccer (MLS) teams LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Centre in Torrance on Wednesday 20th July and Chivas USA at a venue in Santa Barbara on Tuesday July 26th. What they'll be up to over there in between those dates remains to be seen, but it would be a good opportunity to repeat the success of last seasons team-bonding training trip to Florida, which saw a turnaround in our results and ultimately led to Premiership survival.

Chivas USA ground-share with LA Galaxy, and are owned by the same guy who owns Club Deportivo Chivas de Guadalahara. Their policy is the hiring of Mexican and Mexican-American players, although they are subject to the same rules regarding foreigners as the rest of MLS.

The club have also announced their only friendly at the Hawthorns, but it's a big one: Atletico Madrid will visit on Sunday August 7th, the weekend before the start of the new Premiership season - fixtures for which will be announced on June 23rd.

Note: Baggies thinking of going abroad to watch the games should be aware of the new regulations for entry into the USA. Travellers from the 26 "visa waiver" countries must now have a machine-readable (i.e. barcoded) passport otherwise they will not be allowed entry into the country. Thanks to Steve Cole for letting us know a bit more about this:

"I was a bit confused by your reference to a machine-readable passport being barcoded so have checked up on the requirements. They are certainly not barcoded in the sense that goods in a supermarket are. According to the UK passport service website 'a British passport is machine readable when there are two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons> (?>>>>>?) printed across the long edge of the personal information page (the page with photograph and personal details)'. In addition the Embassy of the US in London website has a helpful image of a passport (albeit a US one) with the machine readable data highlighted. Just in case other supporters are confused like me and query your article, the web links are:- UK Goverment Site and US Embassy Site "

Back here at BOING mansions I checked my passport, issued in 1999, and it has the relevant text - so given that they only last ten years it seems unlikely that many people will find this to be a problem.

Keep an eye out for more information coming from our US resident readers. Looking around at flights, there seems to be very little available from the UK below about ?700 return. The best deal we've found yet was through ebookers and goes via Minneapolis for ?537 plus taxes (bringing it to ?637) - follow the link below for more details or other options. If you can find a better deal, let us know and we'll pass it on.

Los Angeles
ebookers cheapest fare to Los Angeles from 429.00 GBP. Subject to availability.

Previous Stories:

  10 June 2005:  Albion at Milton Keynes - Right or wrong?

  23 May 2005:  Great Escape T-Shirts!

  16 May 2005:  Media Roundup

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