FC Tampa Bay and the Bolton Wanderers each held practice sessions Wednesday morning in preparation for Thursday night's international friendly at 7:30 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium.
FC Tampa Bay practiced for two hours at Al Lang Stadium, while Bolton held its training session at the University of South Florida soccer stadium.
Here is a Q&A with FC Tampa Bay head coach Ricky Hill:
FC Tampa Bay head coach Ricky Hill
Generally how much are you looking forward to a Premier League team coming to play?
"It’s fantastic really, all the players are excited to be playing versus high level players, and the Premier League is considered the best in the world. It’s great to have a team that has been so strong the past three or four years playing in our backyard. This will be a special game that the players will not only cherish Thursday night but probably for the rest of their lives."
Do the FCTB players know the Bolton players like Gary Cahill and Kevin Davies?
"Absolutely, they are well versed on all the Bolton players. Fox Soccer, Sky Sports, ESPN cover the Premier League in this country. From our perspective this is a wonderful occasion to see a Premiership side come to this part of Florida. It’s great for the youngsters and soccer supporters in this area."
Talk about your history with Tampa Bay soccer
"I came in 1992 to play, and I was fortunate two games into the season Rodney Marsh, then the chief executive of the Rowdies, asked me if I wanted to coach the team. I continued as a player/coach, and then went back to the UK and of course worked at Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham with the U-19s and then the opportunity came around here with FC Tampa Bay this year. I put my name in the hat and got the job. I’m enjoying my time here, the front office and organization is outstanding. They are working to take the game forward here in the USA. They’ve done everything they possibly can do off the field to entice fans to come to the games."
And watch interviews with Bolton Manager Owen Coyle and captain Kevin Davies below.