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Focus On Philadelphia

PUBLISHED

09:00 23rd June 2013

We take a look at City's opponents in their final US game

STOKE CITY have added Philadelphia Union to the programme of games they have lined-up when they visit the United States next month.


The Potters will face Philadelphia at PPL Park on Tuesday 30th July, which will represent their third and final game of the trans-Atlantic trip.


They will launch the tour against Houston Dynamo on Wednesday 24th July before facing FC Dallas three days later.


Here we take a close look Philadelphia.


PHILADELPHIA are based in the satellite city of Chester, Pennsylvania and became the MLS’s sixteenth team when the League underwent expansion in 2010.


They finished eighth in the Eastern Conference last season and 15th overall in the MLS, but under the guidance of manager John Hackworth have been going well in the current campaign.


They are currently third in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the current leaders Montreal Impact and three points behind second-placed New York Red Bulls, who they play on Sunday.


Their home, PPL Park, is an 18,500 soccer specific stadium, although they occasionally play select games against at Lincoln Financial Field, the home stadium of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.


Their squad includes former Manchester United midfielder José Kléberson, who is on loan with them from Bahia in his native Brazil.

United paid £6.5million to land Kléberson fromAtlético Paranaense in August 2003 but he sustained an injury in only his second game for the club and clocked-up just 20 appearances in two seasons at Old Trafford.

Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas


STOKE CITY boast links with pre-season opponents Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas after raiding both clubs to strengthen their first team squad.

 

Geoff Cameron forged his considerable reputation in his home country with Houston before moving ‘across the pond’ last summer to fulfil his Premier League dream at the Britannia Stadium.

 

He was joined by US international team-mate Brek Shea during the January transfer window as his four-year spell with Houston’s Texan rivals Dallas came to an end.

 

Both men will no doubt relish the opportunity to return to familiar territory as City’s build-up to the new season gathers pace with the 10-day trans-Atlantic trip.

 

Houston, who will provide the opposition on July 24th, are currently fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference behind Montreal Impact, New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union.

 

Founded in 2005 (although they were initially known as Houston 1836); they won the MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007 and in each of the last two years have won the MLS Eastern Conference play-offs.

 

They play at the 22,039-capacity BBVA Compass Stadium and manager Dominic Kinnear’s squad includes former Derby and West Brom midfielder Giles Barnes.

 

Dallas, who will face Stoke on July 27th, are currently riding high in the MLS Western Conference.

 

They were originally known as Dallas Burn when they were founded in 1996 and have competed in the MLS since its inception in the same year.

 

The club is renowned for its youth and academy system and currently has six home-grown players in boss Schellas Hyndman’s squad, including 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup winning goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.

 

They play in the 20,500-capacity FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco – one of the first soccer specific stadiums to be built in the US.

 

Incidentally, Dallas and Houston went head-to-head in a Texan ‘derby’ in March. Dallas ran out 3-2 winners and, in the process, reclaimed the the 19th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon which is presented to the winning team.

 

 

 

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