Eric Joseph Lichaj is an American soccer player who plays in the Premier League for Aston Villa. Lichaj also plays for the United States men's national team. He joined the soccer residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida at the age of 14. He began his youth career with the Downers Grove Roadrunners, later playing with Chicago Magic, and then spent one year at the University of North Carolina. He also played four games for the Chicago Fire Premier of the USL Premier Development League. Lichaj featured in all but two of Villa's Reserve matches during the 2008–09 season. Lichaj was loaned out to League Two club Lincoln City in order to gain first-team experience. He played two games for City before signing a one-month loan extension. Later in the season, Lichaj again went on a month-long loan, that time to League One side Leyton Orient. He scored the first professional goal of his career for Leyton Orient against Stockport County on April 17, 2010. Lichaj scored his first goal for Aston Villa on July 19, 2010, in a pre-season friendly against Peterborough United.On February 9, 2011, Lichaj joined Leeds United on a one-month loan deal. Lichaj made his Leeds debut in a 2–0 victory against Bristol City. Lichaj has been involved with various U.S. youth teams. He helped his country qualify for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship.