The Houston Dynamo and Stoke City F.C. will play on July 24 in the fifth edition of the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup. Stoke City will be the third European club that the Dynamo have played and the second from England's Barclays Premier League.
“We are pleased to be hosting an historic English Premier League club at BBVA Compass Stadium as part of this growing tradition,” said Dynamo President Chris Canetti. “This event showcases the international element of soccer, provides a fun and entertaining night for fans, and offers a terrific charitable angle for the community.”
Stoke City features former Dynamo defender and U.S. national team regular Geoff Cameron and former FC Dallas midfielder and U.S. international Brek Shea.
This year's BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup is headline by the return of former Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron to BBVA Compass Stadium. The Massachusetts-born defender spent five years in Houston before his transfer to Stoke City midway through the 2012 season. Cameron featured 116 times during the regular season for Houston and was named the 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year and the 2009 MLS Defender of the Year. Cameron led the Dynamo in scoring in 2011, tallying five goals and five assists in 33 games.
In addition to Cameron, former FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea will be making a return to Texas for Stoke City's tour. Shea, a native of Bryan, Texas, played youth soccer in Houston with Texans SC. He appeared in 98 games in five seasons after being selected by FC Dallas second overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Shea joined Stoke City in January and has 16 caps for the U.S. national team.
Photo Courtesy of Gary Rohman / Sporting KC
Stoke City's attack is led by Jonathan Walters (seven goals this season) and Peter Crouch (six goals this season). Crouch is a veteran of the English Premier League, with 164 goals in all competitions during his 15-year career. The six-foot-seven striker has also represented the English national team 42 times, scoring 22 goals and featuring in two World Cup (2006 and 2010).
Walters joined Stoke in 2010 after scoring 30 goals in 136 games for Ipswich Town. The Republic of Ireland international has featured 17 times for his national team and has scored four goals. Most recently, Walter scored two goals in a 2-2 draw against Austria in a World Cup qualifying match.
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The BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup is an annual event bringing prominent international teams to Houston to raise money for charity. It began in 2009 when the Dynamo beat Mexican club Monterrey 2-1. In 2010, the Dynamo welcomed Águila from San Miguel, El Salvador, and rolled to a 4-0 win. The 2011 edition saw the Dynamo fall 2-0 to their first European opponent, English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers. Last year, the Dynamo played Spanish club Valencia and lost 2-1.
Proceeds from this year’s Dynamo Charities Cup will go toward the “Building a Better Houston” initiative, a campaign led by Dynamo Charities and BBVA Compass to make improvements in Houston’s East End. The program will include: a home renovation with Rebuilding Together in May; a Food Bank event during July’s Dynamo Charities Week; financial education programs for East End students in September; and the “Business of Sports” program with Junior Achievement this fall.