MLS Ticker: Stoke City coming to Dallas, Laba en route to TFC and more

BrekSheaStoke2 (GettyImages)

By DAN KARELL

Brek Shea will be returning to Dallas, Texas this summer for the first time since his January move to England. Only this time, he’ll be in the opposition’s shirt.

Shea’s club Stoke City announced this week that they will have a ten-day pre-season tour in the U.S., including a match against FC Dallas. But the Major League Soccer club and the English Premier League club confirmed the friendly match on Thursday, giving Shea and fellow U.S. international’s Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu an opportunity to play against familiar opposition.

“If there is one market right now where we can develop our own profile, then it has to be America due to the presence of three US internationals in our squad,” Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes told the club’s website. “The transfer of Shea subsequently presented an opportunity for us to play a match against his former club which is where we will be heading as part of this tour.”

The English club will be arriving in the U.S. on July 22, with the match against FC Dallas to occur on July 27. Stoke also spent last season training in the U.S., playing matches against Sporting Kansas City, the Columbus Crew, and USL Pro side Orlando City.

Here are some more stories to catch you up around MLS:

ARGENTINOS JUNIORS CONFIRM LABA DEPARTURE

Though the club have yet to officially confirm it, it looks more and more likely that Toronto FC have completed a big transfer of a former Argentina U-20 midfielder.

Argentine club Argentinos Juniors announced on their website on Wednesday night that they had agreed for the transfer of Matias Laba with TFC and that the 21-year-old would be on his way to Canada to complete his new contract with MLS.

“We are always looking to improve the squad and Laba is an incredible player,” Toronto manager Ryan Nelsen told MLSSoccer.com. “So if he joins the Toronto squad, I will be more than happy.”

Laba played for Juniors last Monday, getting sent off in the 45th minute of a 1-0 loss to Tigre. In the summer of 2011, the Villa Raffo native featured for the Argentine squad in five matches at the U-20 World Cup in Columbia, as well as playing with the Argentina U-22 squad at the Pan American Games in October of 2011.

FIRE DEFENDER THOMPSON FINED AND SUSPENDED

The MLS Disciplinary Committee announced on Thursday that Chicago Fire defender Wells Thompson has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended one match for a “reckless challenge that endangered the safety of his opponent.”

Thompson was given a yellow card in the 12th minute of last Saturday’s match against Columbus. The Wake Forest product was late in a challenge against Crew midfielder Agustin Viana, sending Viana off his feet with a slide tackle.

Thompson will serve the suspension this Sunday when the Fire visit the Montreal Impact.

SPORTING SELL OUT ALL SEASON TICKETS

In a remarkable achievement for the league and the club, Sporting Kansas City announced on Wednesday that they had sold the remaining season tickets for this year, filling up the allotment of 14,000 seats.

Considering that Sporting Park only holds 18,467 seats total, that means the club have managed to sell just under 76 percent of their seats to just season ticket holders. Coming into Saturday’s against Portland, Sporting have sold out their previous 19 games.

This summer, Sporting Park will host the 2013 MLS All Star Game, as well as a key World Cup qualifying match this fall against Jamaica.

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What do you make of these reports? Excited to see Brek Shea play in Dallas? Do you believe Laba can be a difference maker for TFC? Do you agree with Thompson’s suspension?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to MLS Ticker: Stoke City coming to Dallas, Laba en route to TFC and more

  1. Travis says:

    Just the team I always wanted to see in person due to their attractive and scintillating style of football….not

  2. why don't says:

    Shea looks so HIGH in that photo. was that filmed at Stoke or in the US? the photography looks amateurish

  3. why don't says:

    3 Americans in their squad? So is this a simple acknowledgement of EDU or the idea that he has an actual role at the club and isn’t just gonna be sold this summer to Bursapor?

  4. Stoke the heat says:

    Have fun in the heat Stoke. You have no idea . . . ha ha ha. FC Dallas will run you into the ground.

  5. Falsify says:

    SKC selling out all season tickets is HUGE.

  6. FORD says:

    Stoke will make Dallas look like Barcelona

  7. MrMaxican says:

    waiting for the Houston announcement.

  8. Nick4235 says:

    Hey just a quick question for SKC fans. As a revs fan and Bostonian would you attribute your rebranding as the turning point in the franchise or perhaps just it’s success. Many Revs fans or soccer fans who can’t get into the Revs are screaming for a rebrand (and a new stadium but don’t get me started on that). As people who experienced a rebranding did it help get more excitement about the team or was it just a coincidence that your success fell at the time of your rebrand?

    • MB says:

      Is brand really the problem? Or the fact that the Revolution as currently constructed will always play second fiddle to the Pats considering the shared ownership and stadium. The Boston Revolution would thrive with their own stadium near Boston and an ownership that cared about the team.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Exactly. Kraft doesn’t care about soccer. The Revs along with FC Dallas have inept front offices. Both isolate their market by having ridiculously far stadiums. Both market the team to soccer moms. FC Dallas signed a TV with Time Warner Cable sports which makes it rather difficult for people who do not have Time Warner to watch their games. I belive the Revs have a simialar deal. Both teams could use new managment

        • tim says:

          had it not been for the stadium, oh so far out… fcd would have been relocated. the stadium was first intended to be built in mckinney, an even further drive…

          enjoy the fact that we have an mls team, the ownership certainly isn’t leading the league in what it does but they are getting better. dan hunts introduction to the team has revitalized the ownership it seems. now we have an owner who takes to FB and twitter weekly, sits in the supporter section and as much a fan of the team as those of us who show up each week. dan looks to be the breathe of fresh air we’ve needed for a long time. enjoy and hope it lasts.

          side note – nice to see we’re back to bitching about stadium location and not a losing team…

    • Old School says:

      “would you attribute your rebranding as the turning point in the franchise or perhaps just it’s success.”

      None of the above.

      Keep in mind, they went from playing in a football stadium that was far too big to a minor league baseball stadium that was far too small and finally to the best Soccer Specific Stadium in the country, bar none.

      That, to me, is the best factor to it reflecting in attendance. Success helps and not being called the Wiz with rainbow colors also doesn’t hurt but when you play in a world class facility, it certainly helps the marketing of your own product.

  9. Chupacabra says:

    Why refer to Wells Thompson as a Wake Forest product? He’s been playing in MLS for seven years now. His college days aren’t any more relevant than the fact that Wayne Rooney went to De La Salle Humanities College. All this obsession with where an MLS player played in college, especially when it’s ancient history, just belittles the league.

    • B says:

      Relax. It doesn’t belittle the league – its a very common thing in American sports and American sports journalism to talk about where a player went to college or grew up.

    • Dinho says:

      seriously? Is that what really sets you off? wow. where did you go to college. just curious.

  10. Edwin in LA says:

    Looks like it’s time for Sporting Kansas City to start looking at ways to expand Sporting Park…maybe a 2nd tier of seats around the sideline opposite of the benches and the goal end to the right on the TV view….the one which doesn’t have small space in the concourse since I think there’s a street that runs right behind the goal on the left in the TV view…