TOWN were today giving a trial to one of the hot shots of the American college soccer scene.
Striker Ben Hunter, originally from Doncaster and an English Schools' international, has been offered a deal by Columbus Crew, one of the Major League Soccer rivals of David Beckham's new club LA Galaxy.
But the 21-year-old left footer is hoping to win a contract in his native country, and was today playing for Town Reserves at Port Vale (2.00).
Left-back Danny Adams, told by boss Peter Jackson that he is free to look for another club, was also in action in the Potteries.
So too were Danny Schofield, who is seeking match fitness after illness, midfielder Mark Hudson, defenders John McCombe and Aaron Hardy and goalkeeper Paul Rachubka.
But Hunter, picked by Columbus Crew in the MLS SuperDraft on Friday, was likely to be the subject of most interest.
The draft system allows each of the 13 clubs to select players from a specified list, with the least successful getting the first pick.
While the highest-profile Columbus capture was former Chicago Fire forward Andy Herron, Hunter was among three prospects handed what are known as developmental roster spots.
That's as a result of the six-footer's performances for the University of Rio Grande in Ohio, where Columbus are based, then the University of North Carolina, where he has spent the last two seasons.
Team: Rachubka, Hardy, McCombe, Wilson, Adams, Racchi, Hudson, Hand, Schofield, McAliskey, Hunter.