With the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup only three weeks away, we want to update you on what's happening with the Stoke City squad.
On June 28, Stoke City secured its first major signing of the 2013-14 season by acquiring Dutch international defender Erik Pieters.
Stoke technical director Mark Cartwright said the team got value for their money by signing Pieters to a four-year contract worth 3.1 million euros. "We would have loved to sign an England international, but we couldn't have signed anyone of that ilk for that price," Cartwright said.
Stoke City also announced the signing of Spanish defender Marc Muniesa on July 2. The 21-year-old joins the Potters with a four-year contract after rising through the FC Barcelona system. He becomes the second new signing by new manager Mark Hughes this summer.
Hughes believes the highly-sought after Muniesa will be an excellent addition to the Potters. "I know he’s very highly-regarded in Spain and was attracting interest from clubs in La Liga but he’s an ambitious young man and wants to test himself in English football," said Hughes.
Here is a slideshow of Muniesa's career with FC Barcelona.
Hughes appointed Eddie Niedzwiecki as first-team coach in June and Niedzwiecki looks to please fans by making Britannia Stadium the noisy fortress it has been in the past. He also expects to play in a different style than former manager Tony Pullis. Niedzwiecki will get a look at the players for the first time when they report for training on July 8.
In their pre-season friendly, Stoke City will host Italian club Genoa at Britannia Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 10. Hughes wanted to play at Britannia to get new players comfortable with the stadium before the start of the season.
The expansion of Clayton Wood training ground is close to completion. The Potters put in 6 million euros worth of updates in the facility in order to meet Category One status within the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). Some of the additions include changing rooms, a classroom, a two-lane sprint tack and much more. The updates are expected to be finished before the start of the regular season.
Stoke City travels to Houston to face the Dynamo on Wednesday, July 24 at 8 p.m. CT.
Brad Davis and Tally Hall visit veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center as part of their Banded Brigade initiative to provide armed forces members and their families with tickets to Dynamo home games.
You can help them by purchasing a special ticket package that donates a ticket to this cause.
Tally Hall, Bill Hamid and Jon Busch battled for last week's Save of the Week award – though Luis Robles won it in the end – and they're back at it again thanks to another round of excellent stops.
They're also joined by two other top-notch contenders from the Columbus Crew's Andy Gruenebaum and veteran Real Salt Lake netminder Nick Rimando.
That's a fearsome array of saves to pick from, but if you're torn, don't worry – you've got a few days to make your pick.
Cast your vote in the poll at right. Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursday.
Check out complete Save of the Week coverage — including a full archive of 2013 winners.
Tune in to ESPN 97.5 FM tonight for a new episode of Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis. The Dynamo broadcaster will talk Dynamo, MLS, international soccer and more!
Guests for tonight include Dominic Kinnear and Alexi Lalas.
Tonight's episode airs from 7-9 p.m. and can be heard on the radio on 97.5 FM or online at www.espn975.com.
The call-in number for the show is 713-780-3776.
Dynamo forward Brian Ownby added another goal to his name in the Richmond Kickers 2-0 victory over Orlando City on Sunday, June 30. With the win, the Kickers remain undefeated in USL Pro this season.
With the Kickers already up 1-0, Ownby solidified the lead after capitalizing on a pass by Juan Arbelaez in the 77th minute. Ownby's first touch popped into the air before he drilled his shot into the back of the net with a nifty scissor kick (3:40 in the video below).
Ownby now has four goals to go alongside five assists on the season.
Richmond's next match is this Saturday, July 6 at 6:30 CT at the Dayton Dutch Lions.
Dynamo radio play-by-play man Matt Pedersen is filling in for Glenn Davis tonight with a new episode of Dynamo All-Access, presented by Houston Community College. The show will air on Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM from 7-9 p.m.
Matt will talk all things Dynamo with CSN Houston's Sebastian Salazar and Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall. He'll also talk with Dynamo director of youth development James Clarkson and Dynamo Academy U-16 forward Elo Ozumba about the U-16s' advancement to Academy Finals Week here in Houston.
The call-in number for the show is 713-439-1560.
A key match in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Sunday afternoon when the New York Red Bulls play host to the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena before an ESPN2 audience. The teams both still currently sit in playoff positions, separated by two points in the conference standings. The Red Bulls are coming off back-to-back losses, last a 3-0 defeat at Philadelphia Union. The Dynamo are riding a six-game winless streak of their own, following a scoreless draw at home with Toronto FC a week ago.
Dynamo: Hall; Sarkodie, Boswell, Taylor, Ashe; Creavalle, Moffat, Clark, Driver; Barnes, Bruin
Subs: Deric, Brunner, Chabala, Dixon, Ching, Weaver, Cummings
New York Red Bulls: Robles; Barklage, Holgersson, Olave, Lade; Alexander, McCarty, Cahill, Steele; Espindola, Henry
Subs: Meara, Kimura, Miazga, Juninho, Bover, Luyindula, Akpan
When the Dynamo come to town, they come in style. And with plenty of support.
Take a look back at our first MLS Cup victory with MLS Insider, which wouldn't have been possible without our own sea of orange.
Send Kofi Sarkodie to the MLS All-Star game this summer. Sarkodie is among the league leaders in assists for defenders with four on the year, not mention his excellent, often goal saving, defense. Dynamo fans can help him get to the MLS All-Star game by voting in two different ways.
1) Online at MLSSoccer.com
2) Via text message. Text "Sarkodie" to 22442
The 2013 MLS All-Star Game begins at 8 p.m. CT at Sporting Park in Kansas City on July 31. Fan voting ends at 2 p.m. CT on July 2. Check out Sarkodie's highlights from this season below.