Minnesota United kicks off a friendly tonight against the newly promoted Aston Villa.
The game starts at 7:00p and can be streamed through the club’s website.
Aston Villa traveled over the pond and has practiced at the National Sports Center, preparing for a difficult season ahead in the top flight.
Aston Villa finished fifth in the Championship and won the playoff to earn promotion in late May. The team has bolstered its squad, preparing for the higher level of play, with eight signings this offseason, including, most recently, the acquisition of Björn Engels.
For the Loons, this friendly comes in a busy and productive July. Minnesota United has won their last seven games and has jumped to fourth in the Western Conference standings. With yet another important MLS game on Saturday against Real Salt Lake, United’s lineup will sure to be full of youngsters.
It appears Dayne St. Clair is the only loanee still with Madison, with even eighteen-year-old Ally Hamis Ng’anzi with the team. Expect full rotation for the squad, Bobby Shuttleworth is likely to play, as well as Wyatt Omsberg and Collin Martin.
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3), left to right:
Eric Miller, Brent Kallman, Wyatt Omsberg, Carter Manley
Rasmus Schuller, Lawrence Olum, Collin Martin
Miguel Ibarra, Abu Danladi
What will be interesting is to see if Romain Metanire makes his Minnesota return after playing with Madagascar in the Africa Cup of Nations. Another question mark is Abu Danladi; the friendly tonight gives him a low-stress opportunity to get in some minutes after struggling with continued injuries.
Regardless of the result, getting the youngsters playing time will be helpful for Minnesota. And for Aston Villa, getting some touches in before the, quickly approaching, Premier League season will be extremely productive.
John Stephenson: 3-0 Villa
Eli Hoff: 4-0 Villa
Jacob Schneider: 3-1 Villa
Ashle Norling: 4-1 Villa
Gustavo Navarrete: 3-3 draw
Colin O’Donnell: 7-0 Villa with 2 own goals