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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Chelsea unveil major USA link-up
Chelsea's agreement with LA Galaxy starts in 2007
Chelsea and LA Galaxy are champions of their respective countries
Chelsea have announced a link-up with AEG, the group that own or operate the franchise for four clubs in the USA's Major League Soccer.

The agreement will come into effect in the summer of 2007 and Chelsea will have a special relationship with MLS champions LA Galaxy.

Chelsea will have first option to sign LA players and loan them youngsters.

"This is a unique, ground-breaking relationship," said Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon.

AEG is also involved with Chicago Fire, DC United and Houston Dynamo, it owns the Millennium Dome and build and operates sporting venues in America.

Chelsea's agreement with LA Galaxy will also involve an exchange of coaching and medical knowledge and personnel - and could be expanded to other clubs if it is successful.

The Premiership champions wil also be involved in a reality television show that will reward the winner with a professional contract at Chelsea.

Kenyon added: "Chelsea is absolutely delighted to be partnering with AEG, the leading backer of soccer in the US.

"It will help Chelsea work towards its aim of becoming the most popular European club in the US, one of our key target markets."

The partnership will stage a tournament every two years involving Chelsea and a host MLS club, starting next year.


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