Report: Nottingham Forest lining up move for Lichaj

Eric Lichaj Aston Villa 2 (Getty Images)

By IVES GALARCEP

American defender Eric Lichaj has been on the free agent market for less than a month since being released by Aston Villa, but it looks like the one-time U.S. Men’s National Team defender won’t be out of work for very long.

Reports in England have Nottingham Forest lining up a bid for the versatile fullback, who made 17 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa last season, including nine starts.

Lichaj has been out of the USMNT picture since the 2011 Gold Cup, and has yet to be called up since Jurgen Klinsmann became head coach. A natural right back who saw time at both right back and left back for Aston Villa, Lichaj would be joining a Nottingham Forest side that finished eighth in the English League Championship, England’s second division. Forest finished just one point out of the promotion playoff zone.

Lichaj, 24, is a University of North Carolina product who spent one season at UNC before signing with Aston Villa in 2008. He made 42 appearances for the Villans before being released last month.

What do you think of Nottingham Forest as a destination for Lichaj? Hoping he finds a team in the Premier League, or see him being a regular starter in the League Championship? See him playing his way back into the USMNT picture?

Share your thoughts below.

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29 Responses to Report: Nottingham Forest lining up move for Lichaj

  1. ACS says:

    He played well in the Championship League two seasons ago, I think it will be a good opportunity that will give him a lot more playing time. Playing regularly will help in trying to find a spot on the national team.

  2. Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

    Yeah this will be good for him. Especially on a consistent top 10 team in the championship that competes for promotion.

    Although steady minutes in the championship haven’t done much good for Spector and his Nats career

  3. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I was hoping he’s catch on with a Premier League team considering his experience and young age. But I guess it’s better he plays.

  4. Roman Lewandowski says:

    It’s not his omission from one or two particular camps that is perplexing. It’s the fact that he hasn’t gotten an invitation to a single camp in the last two years. During that time, we have seen several full back shortages. At one point, we saw Jose Torres play left back. Recently, we saw an emergency call-up for Cory Ashe. And does anyone truly believe his name doesn’t belong on the extended Gold Cup roster?

    I wish JK would explain why he avoids Lichaj like the plague, especially since he is so candid about other players.

    • Sabella says:

      I agree. It’s perplexing to say the least. Not one call up!

      • Danthenolefan says:

        How are his ball control, passing ability and attacking ability? I havent seen him play since gold cup 2011 but with the conversion of midfielders to wing backs and Klinsmanns desire to play a possession based style I would guess he is lacking in one if not all of these areas.

    • SBI Troll says:

      This post is right on. Also someone needs to remind Klinsmann that Lichaj is American, cap-tied, and available for call up.

    • Mark says:

      You would think he would at least have been called up for the Gold Cup. It’s as if Klinsmann doesn’t even know he’s available. He’s not in that bad a form not to merit a look with he B team he’s taking to the Gold Cup.

      • shane says:

        It’s because our soccer journalists in this country are too afraid to ask the obvious questions. Someone needs to employ Brian Straus as everyone else is too lame to get the job done.

      • shane says:

        It’s because our soccer journalists in this country are too afraid to ask the obvious questions. Someone needs to employ Brian Straus as everyone else is too lame to get the job done.

        • biff says:

          I agree with you that Brian Straus is a gutsy journalist. I would not be surprised if other journalists earlier this year were hearing the same whispers that Straus was hearing about bad vibrations within the USMNT, but that only Straus had the courage to write a news article about it. And, quite frankly, the Straus news article is the best thing that could have happened to the USMNT and for Jurgen Klinsmann–get it all out in the open and then rebuild. Without that article, I think chances are real high that the USMNT would have lost the two game in March and Klinsmann would at now be unemployed. I think Klinsmann took the story to heart and made some big changes in the way he is managing the team and, as we have seen in this camp, it is working very well.

          • McQ says:

            …so your position is that Brian Straus is responsible for the turnaround in the US’ play. Not Klinsman -who stated from the start that he was going to shake things up sacrificing sacred cows for the long-term betterment of the team by brining in new faces, telling players that he expected more out of them and they should expect more from themselves or they would be asked to move on.

            Because I am pretty sure that Klinsy said from the start that he was going to change the whole system from top-to-bottom and that it would take time, he was going to intentionally put players in uncomfortable situations to test them and see what he had. But we should thank a writer for the change not the coach? (who incidentally has been proven right)

            • Brett says:

              I think Klinsmann himself would give a lot of credit to the Strauss article. It drew focus in on the national team and consequently the players really stepped up their performances.

        • adam says:

          Good idea.

      • Gary Page says:

        Agree. You figure even a reserve for Aston Villa has to be better than MLS players or even guys in Norway, etc. given the quality of play in the respective leagues.

        • Brett says:

          That’s the great lie though. The gap isn’t in player ability or athleticism, it’s coaching and development.

      • Andy says:

        He wasn’t called up because of his club situation. Better for him to stay in the country, get signed by a new club, and spend the full pre-season with them than to play with the US B-team, having to fly back-and-forth across the Atlantic for physicals/meetings, and then miss a good chunk of pre-season with his new club.

        • MN Footie says:

          I endorse this statement.

        • Roman Lewandowski says:

          Every non-call has come with different excuses, all of which we can identify as double-standards when we compare to arrangements JK has made for other players.

          • GW says:

            After 2011 he had a serious hip injury.

            JK took over after that and during a time when Lichaj was still re establishing himself with Villa.

            And he never really did establish himself with Villa. He did have a run at the end of the 2012 season where he started the last nine games but it’s clear now that happened because the starters were either hurt or horrible. And the team did not win one game in that run. Then Lambert took over and the very first thing Lambert did was buy a right back to compete with Lichaj. The next thing he did was buy a left back. What does that tell you?

            Lambert then gave Lichaj a run of games to win a job but he failed to do so.

            The managers you want to talk to are the Villa managers. Lichaj has never been able to convince any of them that he can win a starting job, that he is anything other than a backup guy.

            Lichaj is a good athlete,a good defender and not particulalry good going forward with the ball.

            Unfortunattely for him the backs that JK seems interested in are mostly good going forward. Couple with an Adu like lack of PT it is prettyattachment to the benchan A

          • GW says:

            Actual post

            So far Eric has done a lousy job of making it hard for JK to ignore him. That is on Lichaj not JK.
            After 2011 Eric had a serious hip injury.
            JK took over after that and during a time when Lichaj was still re establishing himself with Villa.
            And he never really did establish himself with Villa. He did have a run at the end of the 2012 season where he started the last nine games but it’s clear now that happened because the starters were either hurt or horrible. And the team did not win one game in that run. Then Lambert took over and the very first thing Lambert did was buy a right back to compete with Lichaj. The next thing he did was buy a left back. What does that tell you?
            Lambert then gave Lichaj a run of games to win a job but he failed to do so.
            The managers you want to talk to are the Villa managers. Lichaj has never been able to convince any of them that he can win a starting job, that he is anything other than a backup guy.
            Lichaj is a good athlete, a good defender and not particularly good going forward with the ball.
            Unfortunately for him most of the backs JK seems interested in are good going forward. Coupled with an Adu like lack of PT it is pretty clear why JK isn’t exactly dying to get a closer look.
            If Eric moves to Forest and gets a run of great form then yeah, it will be that much harder for JK to ignore him. Until then, Lichaj is the guy to blame for his his absence from the USMNT.

  5. Eric says:

    I was hoping LIchaj would be heading back to Leeds. He played very well for them when he was there on loan. Heard they were moving promising young back Sam Byram to the midfield, Lichaj would be perfect fit there as a right back.

  6. Ed says:

    I remember being impressed with an interview before a gold cup game, he basically said he loves the challenge of big moments, big games. Something about doesn’t want to play in Mickey Mouse games. Came off as tough and fearless. Hope the best for him.

  7. caerbannog fc says:

    in the games he was allowed to play in a u.s. jersey he always gave his all and i believe he would fit well within jurgen’s setup. perhaps not as a starter with the current depth but a clear squad option. if we are at times lacking the link to the US teams of the past that were physically imposing and “ran you off the pitch,” lichaj is a pretty great representation of what was valuable about that style.

    Guzan has obviously done very well at Villa. but their treatment of Bradley was hilariously inept and perhaps they will also come to regret letting Lichaj go.

  8. biff says:

    I think Eric Lichaj is not only a better right back then Brad Evans, but better than that one guy, what’s his name? I always forget because he always snubs Klinsmann’s invitations, faking injuries and saying he needs rest and he does not like sitting in air planes. He plays for Nuremburg, had an awful season last year at right back so they tried him at right wing and he was just as bad and he ended up the last few games on the bench. Oh, yeah. Timothy Chandler is his name. I think Lichaj is better than Chandler and I know he plays with more heart for the shirt which we all know is necessary for strong performances we saw big hearts displayed this past few games.

    Timothy has to prove he deserves a spot on the roster and the Gold Cup is a perfect opportunity to show is good enough–or that he not. And Chandler is quoted in a German newspaper saying that Klinsmann has given him this opportunity by inviting him to play in the Gold Cup. And we know that Chandler, who is now fit and healthy and enjoying vacation in Greece, will not turn down Klinsmann’s invitation because if he does he will be too long off the team and have no chemsitry with teammages and they will resent him and Klinsmann most likely will not call him up again during the WC 2014 cycle. Anyone know when the Gold Cup roster will be announced?

  9. Vic says:

    I would say Brad Davis is the best player Bob Bradley didn’t like. Lichaj is the best player Klinnsmann doesn’t like.

    • Lost in Space says:

      The problem/issue with Davis is that he is way too slow for the international game.
      He is a very good MLS player, who can greatly impact the games with his free kicks and passing…However when the game speeds up (thought and action) at the international level he doesn’t seem to be able to adjust. His free kicks are still good….but his run of play decisions, passes, marking, etc….causes a huge defensive liability.
      Lichaj (like Adu) is the oposite. He showed really well with the national team, but more often than not was bad with his club side. If this move gets him regular playing time at the club level, and he shows well….IMO he is a better depth option at RB or LB than Castillo or Evans. He has Castillo’s speed and the physical atributes of Evans.

  10. cps says:

    I mean, I think Brad Evans has done an admirable job, but not looking at Lichaj to fill in at RB is absurd. It’s not like he never made the roster for Villa. He played in a bunch of games.