Villa announce partnership with US-based soccer club
The agreement will see the team - Pacesetter Villa Super 20 - wear official Villa kit for their inaugural season, which begins in May 2013.
The Premier U20 men's league - the Super 20 League - provides the platform for top 17-20 year olds in the United States and Canada to compete at the elite level.
While serving as a reserve team system for Major League Soccer and the Professional Developmental League the Super 20 League features teams competing in regional divisions.
This consists of eight-ten regular season matches throughout the summer months.
In the midwest division, the teams consist of Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire from Major League Soccer along with Toronto, Dayton Dutch Lions, WAZA, CUP, Alliance Academy and Kings Soccer Academy.
The Super 20 League is undoubtedly the leading avenue for players to progress to the professional ranks.
"The partnership is an exciting opportunity for both Pacesetter Soccer Club and Aston Villa," said Jimmy Walker, executive director of coaching at Pacesetter Soccer Club.
"Aston Villa Football Club are one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in England and were a founder member of the English Football League, established in 1874.
"They have had a massive history winning the European Cup, the League Championship along with multiple FA and League Cups.
"Aston Villa are one of the top five teams in the history of the English Premier League and it is fantastic for the Ohio community and American Soccer that this link has been formed."
The agreement will also serve as a potential scouting network between top USA U20 players and Aston Villa.
Villa Chief Executive Paul Faulkner said: "We're very happy to support Pacesetter Soccer Club and we wish Pacesetter Villa Super 20 every success when the season kicks off in May.
"James Walker and his family have had a long association with Aston Villa and this new venture is really exciting.
"The club already have strong links with the US, with Brad Guzan our current No.1 goalkeeper and Brad Friedel, among others, also having played an important role for us in recent times.
"We hope that an association such as this could pave the way for other American players to join Villa in the future."
Pacesetter Soccer Club is ranked the No.1 club in Ohio North, featuring boys and girls teams from the ages of eight-twenty.
Since 1980 the Pacesetter Soccer Club have fielded teams that have competed on regional and national levels.
The club have provided soccer expertise and excellence to Ohio Soccer players over the last thirty years.
Many Pacesetter Alumni have gone on to play in college, professionally and at the national team level.
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