The Potters will return to the USA for a second straight summer and play a friendly at FC Dallas Stadium, providing a homecoming for U.S. winger Brek Shea.As it turns out, U.S. national team winger Brek Shea hasn't necessarily played his last game at FC Dallas Stadium after all.
Shea's Stoke City will play his former team, FC Dallas, on July 27 as part of a summer tour of the United States, the club announced on its official website on Thursday. It will mark the second straight summer tour in America for Stoke, which played Columbus, Sporting Kansas City and USL Pro side Orlando City SC.
"The tour to the United States was extremely successful last year, first and foremost in achieving our primary objective of helping to prepare the squad for the season ahead," Stoke City’s chief executive Tony Scholes said on StokeCityFC.com. “The football management and players were impressed with the high standard of the opposition for all three games, as well as the quality of the training facilities."
Stoke is set to announce another match during its 10-day tour sometime next week, and the Houston Dynamo -- Stoke defender Geoff Cameron's former team -- have long been rumored to be its opponent for the club's Charities Cup match. With Maurice Edu's loan to Bursaspor expiring at the end of the season, it means that three U.S. internationals -- Shea, Edu and Cameron -- will return to American soil this summer, which was another incentive for Stoke to return stateside.
“The transfer of Brek Shea subsequently presented an opportunity for us to play a match against his former club, which is where we will be heading as part of this tour," Scholes said. "It’s also a good time to be going back with an exciting feature of the new television agreement being NBC’s coverage which will enhance the Barclays Premier League’s profile in the United States, and if there is one market right now where we can develop our own profile, then it has to be America due to the presence of three U.S. internationals in our squad.”
Cameron has been a fixture in the lineup for Stoke manager Tony Pulis this season, while Edu played in one match before being loaned to Bursaspor. Shea has played in two matches as a substitute since completing his transfer this winter and overcoming foot injuries. He played 81 minutes in Stoke's U-21 match against Manchester City on Monday. He had 19 goals and 14 assists in five MLS seasons with FC Dallas, including a career-high 11 goals in the 2011 campaign.