Aston Villa have today announced that as part of their pre-season preparations (ideally for a return to Premier League football) the club will be holding a training camp in the American Midwest. Specifically the club will be hosted by Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United FC in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with an exhibition match to take place between the two sides on the evening of Wednesday, 17th July.
This marks a confirmation of a rumoured plan to commit the club to appearances in the United States during the pre-season of 2019 ahead of the 19/20 season and also marks a bold move for Villa’s global marketing and reach-out. For the past few seasons the club have been far too quiet in their efforts to showcase themselves to international fans. Any international matches have been rather close to home, and attended mainly by domestic Villa fans flying out for a continental piss-up. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that (and long may it continue), it’s very encouraging to see that Villa are expanding their reach just a little bit.
Their hosts, Minnesota United FC are a fairly recent addition to MLS. Based in the Western Conference of MLS, the team currently play in the newly constructed Allianz Field. You can read up on them over at E Pluribus Loonum and it’s safe to say we’ll be reaching out to those lot before this friendly game.
Anyway, there’s more on this story on Villa’s website which confirms that Dean Smith has approved the trip - and that package deals will be available for those based in the UK and worldwide to attend training sessions and the match at the Allianz Field, itself. Plan your flights and book the time off because the Villa are coming to town.