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FC Tampa Bay vs. Bolton set for July 14

A date and start time for FC Tampa Bay's international friendly against the English Premier League's Bolton has been finalized.

The Wanderers will visit St. Petersburg's Al Lang Field on July 14 at 7:30 p.m.

"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," FC Tampa Bay coach Ricky Hill said in a news release. "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."

Bolton finished 14th during the recently completed 2010-11 season in the EPL with 12 wins, 10 draws and 16 losses. Bolton made the semifinals of the 2010-11 FA Cup, an all-division tournament that features 759 English teams.

The Wanderers are led by Swedish international Johan Elmander, who scored 12 goals (10 in Premier League play, two in cup competitions) this season. Kevin Davies and Daniel Sturridge each scored eight EPL goals this season for Bolton.

Bolton's best-known player to American soccer fans is Stuart Holden, who made 26 appearances for the Wanderers and was becoming one of the league's better players in central midfield before a knee injury against Manchester United in March ended his season. Holden, who had surgery on the knee, will not be available to play against Tampa Bay.

"I have told the guys all about FC Tampa Bay and how their fans love their soccer and their team," Holden, a member of the U.S. men's national team, said in a release. "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."

The international friendly, a first for FC Tampa Bay, is the beginning of a three-game preseason trip in the United States for Bolton.

FC Tampa Bay vs. Bolton set for July 14 06/14/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:40pm]
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