Aston Villa signs American teen Lichaj

Eric Lichaj never played for the University of North Carolina, suffering from a broken foot, but that didn't prevent English club Aston Villa from signing the 18-year-old defender to a two-year contract and assigning him to its academy program.

Back luck has followed Lichaj, who injured his knee on the eve of the 2005 Under-17 World Cup and did not go to Peru with the U.S. U-17s. Last summer, he injured his foot and was unable to play for the Tar Heels.

Lichaj, a product of the Chicago Magic, is the third player who participated in the U.S. U-17 residency program to sign with an English Premier League in the last year. Kyle Davies and Andrew Giallombardo are in Southampton's youth system.

They are share one thing in common. They hold passports from EU countries allowing them to qualify to work in Britain.

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