PHILADELPHIA - JULY 21: Danny Mwanga #10 of the Philadelphia Union takes a shot on goal in front of Wes Brown #6 of Manchester United at Lincoln Financial Field on July 21 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Former first overall SuperDraft pick Danny Mwanga will train with Aston Villa, of the English Premier League, for ten days. Mwanga joins Freddy Adu (Rayo Vallecano), Michael Farfan (Sunderland), Zac MacMath (Everton), Amobi Okugo (SC Freiburg), Sebastien Le Toux (Bolton Wanderers) and Zach Pfeffer (Hoffenheim) as members of the Union that have spent time training with overseas clubs prior to the 2012 MLS season.
The timing of Mwanga's training stint with Villa is odd. The Union officially began their 2012 preseason yesterday and had begun their fitness portion of it today. Mwanga's time in England directly conflicts with nearly all of the team's scheduled training period at the Youth Sports Complex in Wayne, PA.
Mwanga was rumored to have been put on the trade block by the Union prior to, and during, the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, which makes this training opportunity appear to be more of a trial with Villa. Just like Sebastien Le Toux's supposed week long training exercise with Bolton, Mwanga's time with Aston Villa may prove to be more than just getting back into soccer shape.
The one hang up for any potential transfer of Mwanga out of America is his citizenship status. The 20-year-old is due to be able to receive full US citizenship within the next year, but a move out of the country would put that on hold. Additionally, not holding US citizenship, nor an European Union passport hurts Mwanga's chances of gaining a UK work permit, or winning an appeal for one.
With four days left in the January international transfer window, anything could happen.