English Premier League club Stoke City, sister club to Orlando City, formally announced plans Tuesday for a 10-day pre-season training tour in the United States.
The Potters will arrive on July 22nd and train in a location that is still to be determined, but most likely in the Dallas area. The team will compete in two friendlies against Major League Soccer clubs the first on July 24th against the Houston Dynamo followed by FC Dallas on July 27th.
Several sites have reported that Stoke would also make a trip to Florida to play a friendly against Orlando City as part of the trip, but all indications are that this will be a Texas-only tour.
Last year Stoke City had a successful trip to the United States with their training base in Florida and friendlies against the Columbus Crew, Sporting KC, and Orlando City. This year's tour takes on some additional importance as the team looks to extend its presence in the US utilizing the three members of the US Men's National team that are part of their club.
In the case of Brek Shea, who transferred to Stoke in January, the tour marks a return trip to Texas where he spent the last five seasons with FC Dallas. Although the midfielder/striker has seen only minimal playing time since joining the Potters, Shea continues to be a big draw for fans as he tries to find his form in England.
On the other hand, defensive back Geoff Cameron has been in the discussion for player of the year honors with the club after an impressive season thus far. His consistent play on the backline has helped protect the few leads Stoke City have been able to gain in matches this season as the club fights to stay out of the relegation zone.
Maurice Edu, who is currently on loan to Turkish-side Bursaspor, is expected to be back with the Potters for their US tour and hopefully will find his way back into the starting line-up next season at Stoke.
For the most comprehensive listing of summer friendlies being played in North America make sure to check out our dedicated 2013 page which we update daily with dates and ticket information.