Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Lichaj makes Villa debut, Altidore returns to action for Villarreal
by Paul Kennedy, August 20th, 2010 3:09AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  americans abroad, england, europa league, spain


[AMERICANS ABROAD] The first leg of the Europa League playoffs was notable for two significant developments: 21-year-old Eric Lichaj made his competitive debut for English Premier League club Aston Villa and national team forward Jozy Altidore played his first competitive game for Villarreal in 20 months.

Lichaj had a solid game at right back for Villa in its 1-1 tie at Rapid Vienna. He was one of several youngsters whom interim manager Kevin MacDonald lined up in front of American Brad Guzan in goal.

Lichaj, who only last week signed a three-year contract extension, was one of four Villa youth products to start, and two of them, Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan, teamed up for the Villa goal.

"I'm very proud indeed," said MacDonald. "It was an education for the boys, who played in patches, but I was pleased with all of them because it's not an easy place to come."

Lichaj, whose parents are Polish and therefore didn't need a work permit to sign in England, played for the Chicago Magic before joining the under-17 residency program but an injury kept him out of the 2005 Under-17 World Championship in Peru.

He enrolled at North Carolina in 2006, but he suffered a broken foot in his first preseason game and never played for the Tar Heels again.

Lichaj moved to Villa in 2007 and has been knocking on the first-team door at Villa for a year. He was loaned out to Lincoln City and Leyton Orient last season to get playing time.


Altidore has returned to Villarreal after spending the last year and a half on loan -- first at Spanish second division club Xerez and then Hull City in England.

He stated last week he wanted to stay at Villarreal, which paid a reported $10 million -- a record for an American player -- two years ago, but he was thought to be on the move again this summer after starting all four games for the USA at the World Cup and attracting the attention of clubs across Europe.

Altidore came on late in Thursday's 5-0 win for the Yellow Submarine over Dnepr Mogilev of Belarus and was denied a sixth goal for Villarreal by keeper Ruslan Kopantsov.

Villarreal's use of Altidore in the Europa playoffs is a signal it plans on keeping him this season. Assuming it wins its series with Dnepr, Altidore is "cup-tied" for the 2010-11 UEFA season, decreasing his value to any club with European ambitions.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Cup Playoffs: Schedule    
The MLS playoffs move into the conference semifinals with the first leg on Sunday. The four ...
What They're Saying: Nelson Valdez    
"I've been feeling like there's been a big mountain on top of me all season. Finally, ...
Report: Heaps will be back with Revs in 2017    
The New England Revolution have retained head coach Jay Heaps for a sixth season, despite its ...
MLS Playoffs: Sporting KC demands apology from league    
Sporting Kansas City did everything possible but score against Seattle, which was saved time and again ...
MLS Moves: Conor Casey calls it quits    
One of the strongest, most rugged forwards ever produced by American soccer has decided to end ...
Hex Files: Boniek Garcia called up by Honduras    
At least one Dynamo will be active during the MLS playoffs. Midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia has ...
MLS Playoffs: No Drogba, no problem for Impact    
Didier Drogba didn't travel with his teammates to Washington, but he did make it to RFK ...
Video Pick: Patrice Evra does dancing panda    
Juventus' French star Patrice Evra dances and raps in a panda suit to send the "Say ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"If [Lionel] Messi scored a goal like that, people would be talking about it for weeks. ...
USWNT: Five regulars return for Romania series    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis recalled five regulars who had sat out the Switzerland ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives