Fire to Host Aston Villa at Toyota Park on July 21

Fire meet storied English Club in International Friendly

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Tuesday that the Fire will take on seven-time English champions Aston Villa in an international friendly at Toyota Park on Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Advance tickets for the Chicago Fire vs. Aston Villa match go on sale Tuesday, March 27 at 1:00 p.m. CT and are available by calling 888-MLS-Fire, by visiting Chicago-Fire.com or via Ticketmaster. The international friendly will serve as Bonus Game 1 in the Fire’s Season Ticket Package, and is also a part of the Ten Game Plan. 
 
Aston Villa, one of the oldest and most successful clubs in English football history, will make their first trip to Chicago. Since its founding in 1874, Villa has amassed 19 major domestic honors, including seven English Premier League titles and seven FA Cups. The Villans also won the 1981-1982 European Cup. One of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, Aston Villa has competed in the top flight of English soccer ever since. 
 
This is the second consecutive year the Fire will host an English Premier League team. In 2011, the Fire took on famed English club Manchester United in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 61,000 soccer supporters at Soldier Field, scoring first before falling 3-1 to the eventual Premier League Champions. The Fire currently hold a 2-1 record against English Premier League foes, defeating Everton FC by a score of 2-0 in 2008, and Derby County 1-0 in 1999.
 
Aston Villa features two former Chicago Fire Premier players, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, originally from Homer Glenn, Ill. and defender Eric Lichaj, a product of Downers Grove, Ill.   
 
This is the first meeting between the Fire and AVFC. Aston Villa is 2-0 in previous games against Major League Soccer teams, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 and the Columbus Crew 3-1 in 2007.