Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Lichaj makes Villa debut, Altidore returns to action for Villarreal
by Paul Kennedy, August 20th, 2010 3:09AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, england, europa league, spain

MOST COMMENTED

[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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Friday] No. 7 New Mexico had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Drexel before ...
Wooten scores second late winner in two weeks    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] German-American Andrew Wooten scored his second game-winning goal in two games to lead Sandhausen ...
Dempsey teams up again with XO    
[VIDEO PICK: Music] The FIFA 15 release party in New York featured its cover boy, Clint ...
New and the old square off in semifinals    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] Two first-year clubs -- Sacramento Republic FC and La Galaxy II -- and ...
Attention on battle for first place -- and fourth    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] First place will be on the line Saturday when the San Antonio ...
Nasco nightmare gives RSL Rocky Mountain Cup    
[MLS: Friday] Joe Nasco, the former Georgia police officer who made his MLS debut this summer ...
Riquelme still brilliant at 36     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme has always been one of the most delightful ...
What They're Saying: Danny Murphy    
"Basically, half his finger was off and you could see his tendon. Glass shattered -- it ...
Abbott is 'incredibly impressed' with Sac scene    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] How does Sacramento stack up? MLS president Mark Abbott said he's not about to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives