Top Stories

Stoke City, Swansea City to take on MLS sides in summer friendlies

StokeSwansea (Getty Images)

Summer friendly season in the United States is not only for the giants of European soccer.

The Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City announced that they will be hosting Stoke City, and the San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids will be playing Swansea City in friendlies in July and August.

The Crew will take on Stoke on July 24 at Crew Stadium, the Rapids will face Swansea on the same day at Dick's Sporting Goods Park followed by the Earthquakes taking on the Swans on July 31 at Buck Shaw Stadium and Sporting KC hosting the Potters on Aug. 1.

Stoke City, which has a chance to seal's Bolton's relegation this weekend, and Swansea City are level on 44 points right now, with Swansea currently in 12th place in the Premier League and Stoke in 14th based on goal differential.

What do you think of these matchups?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. I’m excited for MLS about this, and will definitely be at the Colorado-Swansea game. Not crazy about the 7 game fixture congestion and midweek of 3 games for CO, but I do want to see MLS exposure of this kind, not just in the big 2 markets. Someone mentioned they wished Swansea would be playing a free flowing team…well, they will be playing the Rapids!

  2. ….and could actually cause more harm than good. It’s like the NBA sending the Bobcats to play in Spain. Okay not that bad but justing using it to illustrate my point. Fans no longer jump at the opportunity to see (fill blank) just because they’re from the EPL or for that matter any other league.

  3. Hahahahahah. You realize how ignorant you sound, right?

    I’d rather hang out all day with the Unicorns in my world than spend 5 minutes in your world where soccer is a game limited to the MLS.

    Last time I checked this was THE GLOBAL GAME. Playing squads like Stoke and Swansea will only improve MLS teams by exposing them to styles that they don’t see on a weekly basis in MLS play.

    Get with it, man – these matches are one way that American soccer improves.

  4. That’s exactly the kind of attitude that holds the MLS down. MLS clubs need exposure beyond their borders and by playing (and hopefully, defeating) mid-table English clubs, the league will be more respected on a world wide level. This then translates into a stronger league, which improves a number of things, including the talent that we have on the USMNT.

    Now it seems like you’re perfectly happy living an insular life focusing only on the MLS, and that’s cool, but for those of us who want improvement on an international level, these games are a must.

  5. I will definitely be at the Rapids v. Swansea game. Now, if the Rapids could just combine that with a pregame show of Gruff Rhys singing a couple of Meic Stevens songs and post game show at the Bluebird then we would really be talking.

  6. im glad Colorado is finally getting an international friendly, could be good for players and fans, however terrible date.

    This will be the 7th game game in the month of July; which also includes two games vs. Seattle and one game vs. Vancouver, Dallas, Salt Lake and Toronto.

    This game falls right between a trip to Rio Tinto and a home game vs. Seattle. not really a good thing for a club that is already fighting injuries and depth issues.

    June would have been a much better time for a friendly, only three games and very few players likely to be called on for international duty..

  7. FWIW, to the extent we are long term moving towards the international calendar — debatable idea but you hear it every so often — we should be linking up with as many teams on that calendar as we can…..could be a preseason summer friendly in either country in a decade or two.

  8. These games, in conjunction with the public events, and media coverage of the teams entire travels, do increase awareness of the EPL. Stoke and Swansea are both mid table clubs in a top three league in the world. Hardly low-brand

  9. I understand that at a level pro soccer has to be a business, but these are two solid EPL teams, each with a definite style, taking us seriously enough to play some games. It may not be “Man U” but everything doesn’t have to be. Heck, I remember Fulham before it was trendy. Hire a few Americans and all of a sudden they probably “make sense to tour here.” It’s kind of a multiplex mentality that we have to be entertained with the big blockbuster.

    Oh, I’m sure the green shades/bean counters agree with you, but MLS being itself built on salary caps and parity should make sure they keep the mix diverse and the doors open. Personally I feel a little insulted when June or ACM or ManU come here and want to play half their games against each other. I don’t think that sells the American game per se, I think that makes them a buck and promotes their brand at our expense.

    I also think we need to ensure teams besides LA and NY are getting friendlies, the American soccer scene does extend beyond the metropoles and the past few years they only have one title between them. And being real about it Man U probably has minimal interest in lining up the best sides in our league at present — quite a few of which are in this schedule — and might prefer the showiness of a Beckham or Henry friendly no matter how LA or NY are that season.

    That being said, ideally Swansea would have been playing some more flowing sides, and Stoke would have pitted against Houston in a steel cage match.

  10. Great idea! Let’s see West Ham vs. FC Dallas and then George John can get revenge on the team that didn’t give him a chance.

  11. Au contraire. It’s not about spreading awareness of the EPL. From MLS perspective, it’s about spreading awareness of MLS teams. For the English teams, it’s a chance to do something different (travel) and to get a tuneup against decent competition. Maybe you’re right that the EPL is trying to increase brand recognition here, but I don’t think these games would do that. Much more likely to expose MLS to fans of the EPL than the other way around. The problem is that low-brand teams like Stoke and Swansea won’t accomplish that.

  12. We get it.

    They’ll get it when there is a lack of asses in seats at those matches.

    What you’re saying isn’t revelation.

    What they will learn as have many others is that the knoweledgeable Americans will no longer show to watch any side from the EPL.

    I’m curious to see how many tickets will be given away for these matches.



  13. I just hope the Quakes market it better than last year’s friendly against West Brom. They did almost zero marketing, there was no pre-game article in the newspaper, and only like 6k fans showed up to witness in-person the 90 yard goal scored by the Quakes backup keeper David Bingham, which has now been viewed 4 million times on youtube.

  14. Why the hell would anyone pay money to watch Stoke in a friendly? I mean if you want to watch set pieces, long throw ins, and tackles go watch a team’s training camp.

  15. I agree with timmytwoshoezzz

    Swansea is one of the most entertaining teams in the Premier League, and Stoke City — regardless of their style — is a difficult team to beat that features several stars.

    This is a great opportunity for soccer fans in the United States to see two quality teams with proud traditions, two of the most vocal sets of fans in the Premier League and two clubs steeped in history.

    Swansea, welcome to America!

    The Gaffer

  16. Amazed at the narrow mindedness of the posts on this board today. These matches aren’t about getting a devoted legion of Swansea or Stoke fans in Columbus and Colorado, it’s about spreading awareness of the EPL. Do you notice companies like GE, Vestas, and Siemens falling all over thenselves trying to get a foothold in China? Well, to the EPL, the US is like China, a huge market of potential fans who want to see sports played at their best. And considering how tv ratings for EPL matches have grown in the last five years in the US(they blow MLS tv ratings out of the water), and the vast value these tv rights will have in the future, the EPl will do all they can to increase awareness and understanding of their product. Duhhh

  17. Stoke City will be just a few miles from their old home in Cleveland, where they played as the Cleveland Stokers in the old NASL in 1967-68.

  18. Reality Check? Do they have Unicorns in your world? This is a joke. I’ll pay more attention to Crickets Chirping and Lightning Bugs doing their thing. Hell, I’m more impressed that they can afford to fly over for the matches.

  19. Very interesting theory…the real reality check is they play thousands of miles away and will never win anything the vast majority (almost everyone) of this country care about.

  20. Your guys are all tripping. Swansea and Stoke both have much better quality than any of these MLS sides. If these matches were scheduled during the heart of the season for both squads, there’s no question the English clubs would win by multiple goals.

    Reality check, boys.

  21. Swansea have been my second favorite Premier League team this season but, really? They had a very good season but, I doubt they will be able to be a global brand.

  22. I think that the sides that are promoted to the Prem each year should be locked into a US Summer tour. It would be nice to see how our guys stack up since some of our best teams are often described as top of the Championship, bottom of the prem. I think they would be fun, competitive matches to watch.

  23. I guess every Welshman in Colorado and the Bay Area will be at those games…so they should draw a couple of hundred fans at least. Maybe Peter Crouch fans will turn out to see Stoke.


Leave a Comment