Friday, June 21, 2013

Union to face Stoke City FC in friendly

Chester, Pa. - The Philadelphia Union will face Barclays Premier League side Stoke City FC on Tuesday, July 30 in a friendly match at PPL Park.

“We are pleased to continue the tradition of top international competition at PPL Park with the match with Stoke City,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “We look forward to welcoming them and their fans to Philadelphia next month.”

Stoke City was established in 1863 and celebrated its 150th anniversary this year, making it the oldest club in the Barclays Premier League, England’s top level of competition. The squad features prominent players such as England international Peter Crouch and U.S. Men’s National Team members Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Maurice Edu, all of whom spent time early in their careers in MLS. The Potters, managed by Mark Hughes, play at Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, located in Staffordshire, England.

The friendly will mark the English side’s third game against MLS competition, and only one on the East Coast, during its second-straight summer tour of the United States, with matches scheduled July 24 against Houston Dynamo and July 27 against FC Dallas.

“The trip to the States last year was a huge success due to the quality of the opposition we faced in our three matches and the high standard of training facilities, something we feel we have replicated with the arrangements for this nine day tour,” commented City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes.

The match versus Stoke City marks the fourth time the Union have faced an English squad in a friendly and the third played at PPL Park, previously squaring off against Manchester United, Everton and Aston Villa. The club boasts a 5-1 all-time record at PPL Park against international opponents in friendlies, having defeated Celtic FC, Chivas de Guadalajara, Everton, Schalke 04 and most recently, Pumas UNAM.

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