FC Tampa Bay today announced that it will host Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League on Thursday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium. The friendly marks the first of a three-game preseason trip for the Whites to the United States.
FC Tampa Bay season ticket holders may purchase tickets through an exclusive pre-sale beginning at 9:00 a.m. this Wednesday, June 15 by calling the FCTB ticket office at (813) 287-1539. Tickets for the general public will go on sale this Friday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m. Tickets for the match will start as low as $20.
“We are pleased to host our first-ever international friendly against such an established EPL club,” said FC Tampa Bay Owner/President Andrew Nestor. “I know our fans, sponsors and players are excited for the match and it will be a good test for both sides on the field. Tampa Bay is a great location for Bolton to kick off their preseason.”
Bolton, which has played in England's top league for more than 70 seasons over the years, was originally founded in 1874. The Wanderers made the semifinals of the 2010-11 FA Cup and the team spent most of the 2010-11 campaign in the top 10 of the EPL, featuring U.S. Men’s National Team member Stuart Holden. Bolton recently celebrated 10 consecutive seasons in the EPL after gaining promotion to the top flight via the playoffs in 2001.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for our players to see a very progressive organization such as Bolton with top quality people from the players all the way through to the staff," said FC Tampa Bay head coach Ricky Hill. "I know it will be the preseason for them but we are hoping that we can put on a good performance for the supporters. It will be great for the area to see a Premier League side here in person and we look forward to them coming.”
“It is a huge opportunity for our team to play Bolton,” said FC Tampa Bay captain Frankie Sanfilippo. “They are an elite team and this is a big game for us as well as a special chance for our guys to play against a team from the Premier League.”
QUOTES FROM BOLTON:
Manager Owen Coyle: "We are all looking forward to the game at Al Lang Stadium and we know that coming up against FC Tampa Bay for our first game in our preseason schedule will be a good test for us. The conditions and the climate are tough going so our players will really have to work hard – games like this will help to prepare us for our season ahead."
Club Captain Kevin Davies: “It is always good to get a testing set of games in preseason and I am looking forward to our match against FC Tampa Bay. We played in the States last year on preseason and the facilities and American fans are first-class.”
Midfielder Stuart Holden: “I have told the guys all about FC Tampa Bay and how their fans love their soccer and their team. We know that it will be a demanding game and that we are set for a tough match, but I am sure that the lads will receive a really warm welcome from the Tampa Bay fans.”