The Houston Dynamo will take on English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers in the third annual Dynamo Charities Cup on July 20 at Robertson Stadium, the clubs announced today. Bolton, currently eighth in the EPL standings, will be the first European team the Dynamo have ever faced in an official friendly match. Ticket details for the match will be announced at a later date, but Dynamo season ticket holders already have reserved seats as part of their ticket package.
The Dynamo and Wanderers are connected by Houston resident Stuart Holden, who played for the Dynamo from 2006-09 before joining Bolton early in 2010. Holden is currently out injured and is currently unlikely to play in the July 20 match, but he spoke at Monday’s press conference along with Dynamo president Chris Canetti and Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
“We have a Dynamo Fan Advisory Board, and after Stuart got hurt, we called them into action,” Canetti said. “Without a doubt, a majority of our board said they wanted to see Bolton, whether Stuart was playing or not. They’ve created a bond with Bolton because they’ve followed them since Stuart moved over there.”
Bolton Wanderers were founded in 1874 and were founding members of the Football League in 1888. The club recently reached the semifinals of the prestigious FA Cup in England, a tournament it has won four times in its history. The 2010-11 season marks the 10th consecutive year Bolton has competed in the English Premier League.
“We’re very excited and happy to play against a team from the English Premier League,” Kinnear said. “Everybody knows more about Bolton since Stuart went over there, but also this is an incredible season for them, and they also have great individual players. I can’t wait for us to step on the field against this kind of international competition.”
The Dynamo Charities Cup is an annual friendly match pitting the Dynamo against an international opponent, with a portion of the match’s proceeds donated to charity. In 2009, Houston beat Mexican club Monterrey 2-1, with proceeds benefitting Dynamo Charities. Last year, the Dynamo beat Aguila from El Salvador 4-0, with proceeds benefitting victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It’s great that both sides were able to work this out, especially for such a great occasion, the Dynamo Charities Cup,” said Holden, who was twice named the Dynamo’s Humanitarian of the Year. “It benefits Dynamo Charities, which I’ve done work with in the past and which does so much work around Houston to benefit the community.”
Currently tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, the Houston Dynamo will face the Chicago Fire on the road on Saturday, April 23, before returning home for back-to-back home games on Friday, April 29, and Wednesday, May 4. Ticket information is available by calling (713) 276-GOAL or by logging on to HoustonDynamo.com.
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first five seasons and represented the United States in international competition four consecutive years from 2007-10. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.