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Aston Villa Announces July 18 Trip To PPL Park For Friendly

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Manager Alex McLeish of Aston Villa (L) looks on as Charles N’Zogbia of Aston Villa (C) is substituted and replaced with Marc Albrighton of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on August 13, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

PPL Park will host its second ever English Premier League when Aston Villa comes to Chester on July 18. [UPDATE: The Union have announced that the Villa friendly is included as part of season ticket holder packages this year]

Villa announced on their official team website that the Philadelphia Union would be their first opponent on a three city tour of the US this summer. The friendly falls between a home game against the Montreal Impact on July 14 and an away game against rivals the New York Red Bulls on July 21.

Villa's coaching staff don't see the game as a simple training exercise heading into the 2012-2013 English season.

"The competition will be good and the facilities top-class, so this will be great preparation when the time comes for the season ahead," said Villa manager Alex McLeish to the team's website.

Villa also cited the existence of a Philadelphia Aston Villa fan club as one of the reasons for selecting the city as a tour site.

"The success of the club's participation in the Barclays Asia Trophy last summer in Hong Kong has encouraged a continued drive to push Villa in key frontiers. America boasts 19 Villa Supporters' Clubs across its vast expanse, including Chicago Lions and Philadelphia's."

The Chicago Fire host Villa on July 21, then the Portland Timbers close out Villa's USA tour on July 24.

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