On Monday the Houston Dynamo will announce that a deal has been finalized with Bolton Wanderers of the Barclays English Premier League, bringing Bolton to Houston later this summer for the third annual Dynamo Charities Cup. The match is reportedly scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 20, at Robertson Stadium in Houston.
Negotiations for this match had been ongoing since former Houston Dynamo and U.S. Men's National Team midfielder, Stuart Holden, left Houston for England this past offseason. The deal appeared to have broken down in March when Holden injured his knee in a challenge with Manchester United defender Jonny Evans.
"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."
A still-recovering Holden was in Houston, however, as a part of this announcement, and made an appearance at Houston's 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Sunday night.
Holden's injury required knee surgery and the midfielder is unlikely to appear in the Charities Cup or the Gold Cup later this summer.
"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."
While Holden may not feature in the match, Bolton seem likely to travel with a squad of stars and fan favorites. Loyal Wanderers supporters should get a chance to see Matthew Taylor, Johan Elmander, Martin Petrov, Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic, Chung-Yong Lee, and Jussi Jaaskelainen.
In an interview with the Chronicle, Dynamo president Chris Canetti expressed his delight over the deal and the Dynamo bringing in their first EPL opponent.
"It's good to finally get to the point where we can formally announce this," Canetti said. "We are pleased to be hosting our first EPL side."
The Dynamo Charities Cup is an annual event aimed at bringing in prominent international teams to Houston to raise money for charity. The Dynamo played Aguila (El Salvador) and Monterrey (Mexico) in the first two Charities Cup match-ups.
Bolton currently sit in eighth place in the Premier League with a record of 11-10-11 and could end the season with a spot in next year's UEFA Europa League.
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.
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.
(Update - 2:00 PM CST) The Houston Dynamo just officially announced Bolton Wanderers as this year's Charities Cup opponent.