Lichaj with Aston Villa in 2011
|Full name||Eric Joseph Lichaj|
|Date of birth||November 17, 1988|
|Place of birth||Downers Grove, Illinois, United States|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Current club||Nottingham Forest|
|2006||North Carolina Tar Heels|
|2006||Chicago Fire Premier||4||(0)|
|2009||→ Lincoln City (loan)||6||(0)|
|2010||→ Leyton Orient (loan)||9||(1)|
|2011||→ Leeds United (loan)||16||(0)|
|2003–2005||United States U17||25||(0)|
|2006||United States U20||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 07:15, 31 October 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Eric Joseph Lichaj (born November 17, 1988) is an American soccer player who plays for Nottingham Forest and the United States men's national team. He started his youth career playing for Chicago Magic and participated in the youth residency program at IMG Academy. He later played college soccer for the North Carolina Tar Heels. After only one year at the University of North Carolina, Lichaj left America to sign with Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Eric Lichaj was born as the third son of Stan and Ann Lichaj, both from Nowy Targ, Poland. He also has two older brothers, Andrew and Mark Lichaj. He joined the soccer residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida at the age of 14. He began his youth career with the Downers Grove Roadrunners, later playing with Chicago Magic, and then spent one year at the University of North Carolina. He also played four games for the Chicago Fire Premier of the USL Premier Development League. After his freshman season, he signed with Aston Villa of England's Premier League. Lichaj holds a Polish passport, making a work permit unnecessary.
Lichaj featured in all but two of Villa's Reserve matches during the 2008–09 season. During the 2009–10 preseason, he was selected in the squad for the 2009 Peace Cup and showed glimpses of his potential during the tournament. However, this did not immediately translate into playing time for the first team.
Lichaj was loaned out to League Two club Lincoln City to gain first-team experience. He played two games for City before signing a one-month loan extension. Later in the season, Lichaj again went on a month-long loan, that time to League One side Leyton Orient. He scored the first professional goal of his career for Leyton Orient against Stockport County on April 17, 2010.
Lichaj scored his first goal for Aston Villa on July 19, 2010, in a pre-season friendly against Peterborough United. Following a successful pre-season campaign, he signed a new three-year contract with the club on August 11, 2010. He made his competitive debut for Villa on August 19, 2010, in a 1–1 draw in a Europa League qualifying match away to Rapid Vienna. He made his Premier League debut for the Villans on November 10, 2010 against Blackpool. Lichaj made his first start for Aston Villa on December 11, 2010 in a 2–1 win against local rivals West Bromwich Albion. He also started for Villa at right back against Tottenham Hostpur where he put in an impressive performance against in-form Spurs winger Gareth Bale.
Leeds United (loan)
On February 9, 2011, Lichaj joined Leeds United on a one-month loan deal. Lichaj made his Leeds début in a 2–0 victory against Bristol City. On March 14, Leeds extended Lichaj's loan for the rest of the season. He scored an own goal in Leeds' match against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United who went on to win the match 2-0. After playing all his games at right back in place of the injured Paul Connolly, Lichaj was moved to left back when George McCartney was out injured. On May 9, Lichaj played the last game of his Leeds United loan spell in Leeds' 2–1 over Queens Park Rangers. Leeds announced on their official website that Lichaj would be returning to his parent club Aston Villa at the end of his loan spell. After his loan expired, Lichaj revealed that he would like to rejoin Leeds the following season to help them earn promotion to the Premier League.
After impressing during his loan spell, in July 2011 Leeds manager Simon Grayson revealed he was interested in re-signing Lichaj on loan, as long as new Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish didn't see Lichaj in his first team plans. However, Lichaj went on to score his first goal for Aston Villa in their 2–0 win over Hereford in the League Cup on August 23, 2011.
Back at Villa
Lichaj scored his first competitive goal for the Aston Villa first team in a 2–0 win over Hereford United on August 23, 2011 in the League Cup. On March 31, 2012, having already assisted Villa's first goal by throwing the ball long for James Collins to score from a header, Lichaj scored his first Premier League goal in a 4–2 defeat at home to Chelsea. After the 2012–13 Premier League season, Aston Villa decided not to renew Lichaj's contract, releasing him on a free transfer.
Lichaj has been involved with various U.S. youth teams. He helped his country qualify for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship. He was also named in the United States U-20 squad for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, although he missed out due to injury. He was called into the senior team as a "guest" for the camp preceding two World Cup qualifiers in June 2009. Lichaj received his first call-up to the senior team in October 2010 and was included in the squad for the friendlies against Poland and Colombia. Lichaj collected his first cap on October 12, 2010 in the friendly against Colombia. On November 17, 2010, Lichaj gained his second cap when he started for USA against South Africa. On March 21, 2011, Lichaj received a call up to the USA national side for the games against Argentina and Paraguay. He was named in his nation's 2011 Gold Cup squad. After sitting on the bench for the first two Gold Cup matches, Lichaj played all 90 minutes of the last four, including the 4-2 loss in the final against Mexico.
- As of match played October 26, 2013
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Aston Villa||2008–09||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Lincoln City (loan)||2009–10||League Two||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0|
|Leyton Orient (loan)||2009–10||League One||9||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||1|
|Leeds United (loan)||2010–11||Championship||16||0||0||0||0||0||—||16||0|
- Appearance in UEFA Europa League
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/10/2009 and 31/10/2009". The Football Association. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
- Armour, Nancy (October 6, 2010). "Timing is perfect for Lichaj's first US call-up". CBS Chicago. Associated Press. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
- Owen, Dave (August 21, 2009). "Downers Grove native Lichaj making international soccer impact". MySuburbanLife.com. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "Player bio: Eric Lichaj". tarheelblue.cstv.com. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Chicago Fire Premier: 2006 roster". uslsoccer.com. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Ubha, Ravi (November 30, 2008). "Lichaj making his mark in the reserves". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- "Eric Lichaj". Aston Villa F.C. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
- "Player Database – Eric Lichaj". yanks-abroad.com. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Lincoln extend Villa duo's loans". BBC Sport. November 23, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Villa Defender Becomes Deadline Day Arrival No. 2". Leyton Orient F.C. March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- "Lichaj pens new three-year contract". Aston Villa F.C. August 11, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
- Stevenson, Jonathan (August 19, 2010). "Rapid Vienna 1 – 1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- "U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu leaves Rangers match on a stretcher - ESPN". Espn.go.com. November 10, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Deal Done For Premier League Defender". February 9, 2011.
- "News | News | News | United Victorious At Ashton Gate". Leeds United. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "American Lichaj extends Leeds loan from Villa". CNN. March 14, 2011.
- "News | News | News | Dominant United Held At Home". Leeds United. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "News | News | News | United Upset The Champions". Leeds United. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "News | News | News | LOAN MEN SAY FAREWELL". Leeds United. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11688_6937268,00.html
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- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11677_7023180,00.html
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- "Leeds United: Grayson in Lichaj talks - Latest Whites News". Yorkshire Evening Post. July 10, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Aston Villa 2 - 0 Hereford". BBC. August 23, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- "Eric Lichaj: Nottingham Forest sign ex-Aston Villa defender". BBC Sport. June 19, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Nottingham Forest 1–0 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Goff, Steve (May 24, 2009). USA Roster Announced "USA Roster Announced". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
- "Lichaj earns first USA senior call-up for friendly double header". Aston Villa F.C. October 1, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
- "U.S. Men's National Team Finishes October Camp with a Scoreless Draw Against Colombia at PPL Park". United States Soccer Federation. October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- "News | News | News | Two More Set For International Duty". Leeds United. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Eric Lichaj". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eric Lichaj.|
- Profile at Aston Villa F.C. website
- Eric Lichaj career stats at Soccerbase
- Eric Lichaj at National-Football-Teams.com