English Premiership side Aston Villa fly to the United States for an eight-day training trip which will include two matches against Texas' Major League Soccer clubs FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo. Villa face FC Dallas on Wednesday, July 23 at Toyota Stadium and Houston Dynamo on Saturday, July 26 at the BBVA Compass Stadium. Good news for USMNT fans is that Brad Guzan will link up with the squad after taking an extended holiday in the USA following his involvement with USMNT at the World Cup in Brazil.
Villa Assistant Manager Roy Keane believes the US is a prime location for a squad get-together to prepare for the Premier League's kick off next month. “Pre-season’s going to be very important, that’s why the trip to the States is obviously going to be pretty good,” he stated. "I’ve only just come back from there, I’ve been over there with Ireland, but I’m looking forward to the tour. I think America is always a good place to have pre- season, and to get some games over there and the facilities are always excellent so I’m really looking forward to that trip.”
Aleksandar Tonev and Antonio Luna are the notable absentees from the Villa squad for the Texas tour. Club Academy graduates Callum Robinson and Samir Carruthers have also been left behind, but winger Jack Grealish will make the trip. Injured strikers Christian Benteke (Belgium) and Libor Kozak are among the 26-player squad as well as new signing Philippe Senderos of Switzerland.
Club captain Ron Vlaar has been excused from the trip because he is on extended leave following his World Cup heroics with his national side, The Netherlands.
Meanwhile, Villa's move for Swansea City's South Korean international midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng seems to have stalled as the player considers options from other European clubs.