I thought this was a nice up-close and personal short video on Villa’s training in Houston, featuring an interview with Shay Given over the top of the footage. As well as featuring a sweating Given, we get to see Darren Bent’s basketball skills and also the team all do a bum-rolling exercise!
Aston Villa vs Houston Dynamo
The game at the BBVA Compass stadium is played under the Dynamo Charities Cup title, a match which raises money for local Houston charities through auctioning-off match day experiences and autographed match-worn shirts. Last year, Houston Dynamo beat Stoke City 2-0 in the cup, a game most notable for being Mark Hughes first game in charge of the Potters.
The Dynamo have won three and lost two of the five charity cup games played so far.
Dynamo haven’t been as impressive this MLS season than as in recent years. International call-ups and injuries have contributed, but a leaky defence has been their main Achilles heal. Still, if they embrace the cup nature of the game as they did last year, they perhaps will put on a better show than Dallas did, although they’ll no doubt be using first teamers sparingly since they are in the middle of their season.
With so many of Villa’s squad with points to prove to Lambert and Keane, I can see a fairly comfortable win for the Villa boys though. Certainly, it’s a chance again for the likes of Jack Grealish and Gary Gardner to make their cases to be involved more in the forthcoming season.
With so many players returning from exile or injury, there is a chance for the Villa team to have a freshness about it when they start the new season. It’ll have to hit the ground running in August, because as we know, September offers up some stern tests.
The game kicks off 8pm Dallas-time and 2am UK-time. UTV
What I find interesting are Given’s quotes regarding the MLS. Tie this with the fact that Given got the full 90 at Dallas and will feature again in Houston, and I think Shay will be staying in the USA.
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