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.