STOKE CITY have finalised plans for their forthcoming pre-season tour of the United States by announcing details of a third game which will conclude the trip.
Mark Hughes’ side will face Major League Soccer outfit Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Tuesday 30th July, 24 hours before they fly back to the United Kingdom.
The meeting with Philadelphia, who currently lie third in the Eastern Conference of the MLS, follows on from games against MLS sides Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas.
City’s first team squad will head out to the United States on Monday 22nd July before facing their first game in Houston at the BBVA Compass Stadium 48 hours later.
The opportunities to take on Houston and FC Dallas, who will be their opponents in the second game on Saturday 27th July, arose during the transfer negotiations which brought US internationals Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea to the Britannia Stadium last season.
“The addition of the Philadelphia fixture means our itinerary for the US tour is now complete and this forms a major part of our pre-season schedule currently being finalised by Mark Hughes,” commented City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes.
“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.”
Philadelphia, who are based in the satellite city of Chester, Pennsylvania, became the MLS’s sixteenth team when the League underwent expansion in 2010.
They finished eighth in the Eastern Conference last season and 15th overall in the MLS, but under the guidance of manager John Hackworth have been going well in the current campaign and are just seven points behind the leaders Montreal Impact.
“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.”
City will be making further announcements about fixtures which will make up the remainder of their pre-season preparations in the near future.
They have already confirmed that they intend to play one game at the Britannia Stadium against continental opposition which is now likely to take place on Saturday 10th following the news that Port Vale will be away from home on that occasion.