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15:30 26th July 2013

An in-depth look at our second US Tour opposition

STOKE CITY ready themselves for their second game of the USA tour in one of the cities that has been most associated with football in the States.

The oldest club in the Premier League face FC Dallas on Saturday, a team who under their previous guise of Dallas Burn were one of the founder members of the Major Soccer League (MLS) in 1996.

Links can go further back too, with Potters' stars playing as the Cleveland Stokers in the United Soccer League against a Dundee United team representing the city as the Dallas Tornado way back in 1967.

Dallas then continued to run a team with their own players right up until the early 1980s and owner Lamar Hunt played a key role in the formation of the MLS.

Both clubs also don red and white colours, although winger Brek Shea swapped hoops for stripes when he made the move across the pond in January.

Sadly he will miss the clash against his former side as he prepares for the US national team's Gold Cup final against Panama on Sunday.

And whilst on the face of it there aren't many other links with their current crop of players and English football, a little digging does reveal some trivia.

Honduran midfielder Ramon Nunez spent three years at Leeds United before signing for Dallas in March, and has played regularly with Wilson Palacios for their national team.

Centre half George John had a brief loan spell with West Ham United last year although failed to play a first team game, a similar story for French forward Eric Hassli when he spent a short period at Southampton eleven years ago.

Fellow striker Kenny Cooper was a couple of years above Ryan Shawcross in the Manchester United Academy and his father, Kenny Senior, played for the original Tornado back in the 1970s. Kenny Junior has had loan spells with Oldham Athletic and Plymouth Argyle.

Last season he outscored Thierry Henry with 18 goals for New York Red Bulls before returning to Dallas for a second stint this year.

Despite being in the same state as Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas are in the Western Conference and currently lie in fifth position, the final spot in their nine-team league for the end of season play-offs.

They've struggled in the league somewhat recently though, with their last win – a 3-0 triumph against Dynamo coincidentally – coming nine games ago.

Scoring has been a problem too with no goals in their last four matches.

Did you know?

- "FCD" play at the aptly-named FC Dallas Stadium. Holding 20,500 spectators, it was formerly known as Pizza Hut Park

- Former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop played ten games for the club before retiring in 2007

- Ex Arsenal defender Steve Morrow has played and managed them after moving over to Texas in 2002

- The Dallas area is the largest metropolitan area in the US not on a navigable body of water

- The City hosts the American Football club Dallas Cowboys, basketball team Dallas Mavericks and hockey side Dallas Stars

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