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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

UNION BOOK ASTON VILLA FOR JULY 18 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY AT PPL PARK

July should be an exciting month to spend some time on the Chester waterfront.

In addition to three of the Union's five matches in July being contested at PPL Park, the team announced Tuesday that it will host English Premier League side Aston Villa July 18 at 7:30 p.m. for an international friendly.

Oh, and PPL Park serves as the host of this season's MLS All-Star Game, to be played July 25. Not bad, huh?

As for ticket details, the Union said tickets to the friendly with Aston Villa -- the very same club with which Union forward Danny Mwanga spent 10 days during preseason training -- will be available for purchase today, Tuesday, March 27, beginning at 4 p.m. That's assuming you don't possess a season-ticket plan. (Season-ticket holders with cards will have the game loaded onto their cards, while those who opt for printed tickets will have them in the mail by June. As for parking, the club said there's a 'bonus game' parking pass in every season-ticket holder package that can be used for this match.)

“It’s our ongoing commitment to bring world-class international competition to Philadelphia,” said Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz in a statement. “We are very proud to host Aston Villa in what will be a challenge for our club and a treat for our fans. We’re also thrilled that this match will be a wonderful precursor to the 2012 MLS All-Star Game and its surrounding festivities. This will certainly be an amazing week for not only our fans and PPL Park but also for cities of Chester and Philadelphia.”

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Also, one other note: Because the United States U-23s endured a 3-3 draw Monday night against El Salvador, they finished third in their pool and will not qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Therefore, the returns of midfielders Freddy Adu and Amobi Okugo, as well as right back Sheanon Williams to the Union's locker room will be sooner than expected.

Waiting on official word from the club regarding their availability for this weekend's match against Vancouver, but a team official said the trio -- in theory -- should return to the Union Wednesday (Tuesday was their travel day) and should be available to play Saturday, barring anything unforeseen.

(Times staff photo / ERIC HARTLINE)

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