Guzan: Model pro Lichaj has bright future for club and country
Brad Guzan has backed Eric Lichaj to be a star for club and country and believes the right-back's elevation to the USA international squad has come about following the huge strides he has made at Villa.
Lichaj has had a whirlwind few months - signing a new three-year claret and blue contract in August and making his competitive debut for the club in the Europa League away clash against Rapid Vienna later that month.
He followed that up by being called up for the first time by USA for a double header against Poland and Colombia this month and making his debut for them in the second of those clashes against the South Americans.
Guzan believes these fantastic moments in Lichaj's blossoming career are well deserved and insists they have all come about because of his impact on the Villa scene.
He said: "Training with the first team here at Villa week-in and week-out has definitely improved him.
"The national team manager has obviously seen that. He came on in the second game against Colombia and I thought he was one of the better players. Eric certainly held his own.
"Hopefully that's the first of many for him. I thought he did really well.
"He is a seasoned pro now. He is a good professional and looks after himself.
"In that situation it's important to enjoy it and for the most part he did.
"It was good for both of us to get a game."
Lichaj's international fate, of course, was the subject of speculation, when it emerged he could play for both USA and Poland before the clash between...USA and Poland.
Despite his parents coming from the Central European country, Lichaj insists he was always going to opt for USA.
He added: "My parents are Polish but I was brought up in the USA, played in the youth national teams there so there was no decision.
"It was always going to be the USA.
"Once you get a taste of it [international action], you want it more and more. That's the plan anyway. I want to do as well as I can for as long as I can."