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Leeds United (And Aston Villa) Defender Eric Lichaj Called Up To USMNT

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An injury to US National Team stalwart Steve Cherundolo has opened the door for an international call up for Aston VIlla right back Eric Lichaj. The 23 year-old defender, currently on loan at Leeds United, was named to the squad ahead of the March 26th friendly against Argentina by coach Bob Bradley after Hannover 96 captain Cherundolo withdrew from camp in order to speed his recovery from a nagging groin injury.

Lichaj was named to the senior national squad for the first time on October 9th of 2010 for a friendly against Poland in his hometown of Chicago and received his first cap on October 12th of 2010 against Colombia in a 0-0 draw in Philadelphia. Lichaj is likely second choice behind West Ham's Jonathan Spector, but with a game against Paraguay just three days after the Argentina clash it's likely that Lichaj will see significant time for the USMNT before returning to England.

Despite scoring an own-goal in Leeds' 2-0 loss to Sheffield United, the reports on Lichaj's play since the move in January have been positive and and the loan, originally a one-month deal, was extended until the end of the season on March 14th. With the depth the US team has at right back, Lichaj's opportunities to get time in Bob Bradley's squad have been limited. With Cherundolo's injury history and advancing age (he'll be 35 when the 2014 World Cup rolls around) however, another strong performance could bring him into the mix for a regular spot on the squad in the near future.