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)|
|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 7 February 2016.
Eric Joseph Lichaj (born November 17, 1988) is an American soccer player who plays for Nottingham Forest. 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 playing 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 Hotspur 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.
Back at Villa
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. 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 signed a two-year deal with Championship club Nottingham Forest on June 19, 2013. He made his debut in a 1–0 win against Huddersfield Town on the opening day of the season. In December 2014, he extended his deal until the summer of 2017. On 20 October 2015 Lichaj scored his first Nottingham Forest goal in a 1-1 draw with Burnley at the City Ground.
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 the US against South Africa. On March 21, 2011, Lichaj received a call up to the US 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. In 2013 Lichaj returned to international duty after a two-year absence, making two substitute appearances for the US against Scotland and Austria in November.
- As of 7 February 2016
|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
- As of December 15, 2014
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/10/2009 and 31/10/2009" (PDF). 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.
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- "Leyton Orient 2 - 0 Stockport". BBC. 17 April 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
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- 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.
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- "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.
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- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11688_6937268,00.html. Missing or empty
- Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11677_7023180,00.html. Missing or empty
- "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.
- "Aston Villa 2-4 Chelsea". BBC. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "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.
- "Eric Lichaj: Nottingham Forest defender extends deal". BBC Sport. December 30, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Nottingham Forest 1-1 Burnley". BBC Sport. October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Goff, Steve (May 24, 2009). USA Roster Announced "USA Roster Announced" Check
value (help). The Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
- "Lichaj earns first US 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.
- "Scotland 0 USA 0". BBC.com. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Games played by Eric Lichaj in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eric Lichaj.|
- Profile at Aston Villa F.C. website
- Eric Lichaj career statistics at Soccerbase
- Eric Lichaj at National-Football-Teams.com