English Premier League’s Aston Villa F.C. to meet Houston Dynamo in BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup

Dynamo Charities, presented by the Halliburton Charitable Foundation, announced today that the Houston Dynamo and Aston Villa F.C. of England will meet in this year’s BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup, the sixth time the Dynamo have met an international opponent in the annual match. It will be held at 8 p.m. CT on July 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup, benefitting Dynamo Charities, is an annual match between the Dynamo and a prominent international opponent. Previous Dynamo Charities Cup opponents include Stoke City FC (England), Valencia CF (Spain), Bolton Wanderers (England), Club Deportivo Aguila (El Salvador) and CF Monterrey (Mexico). The Dynamo are 3-2-0 all-time in Charities Cup play.

“We are extremely pleased to be hosting Aston Villa and honored to have them here for the Dynamo Charities Cup,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “They are a club with a great history and storied tradition from one of the greatest soccer leagues in the world. It will be an exciting night for our club and fans.”

Founded in 1874, The Lions are one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the history of English soccer. They have the fourth highest total of major honors won by an English club, having won the First Division Championship seven times and the FA Cup seven times. Villa also won the 1981–82 European Cup, becoming one of five English clubs to win what is now the UEFA Champions League. Currently managed by Paul Lambert, Villa is currently in twelfth place in the English Premier League standings.

“Our previous US tours have been exciting and hugely positive experiences for the Club and I’m sure we will work hard to ensure we achieve further development into a country in which the game is increasingly taking root,” Villa CEO Paul Faulkner said. “Commercially, we are always looking to grow the Club while remaining true to the values we espouse as Villa people. I see this as a wonderful opportunity and I thank the staff of FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo for the courtesy and welcome they have already shown us in helping to put these games together.”

Aston Villa has remained in the Premier League since its inception in 1992. The club features former Chivas USA goalkeeper and US Men’s national team regular Brad Guzan and striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, the team’s all-time Premier League leading goal scorer with 66 tallies.

In addition, Villa features Belgium international forward Christian Benteke, who leads the club with 10 goals in 26 appearances this season. The 23-year-old has six goals in 18 appearances for the Belgium national team. The squad includes midfielder Leandro Bacuna, 22, who has five goals in 29 appearances in his debut season and made 20 combined appearances for the Netherlands U-19 and U-21 national teams. Villa’s young core also includes Andreas Weimann, 22, who has three goals and four assists in 29 appearances this season and 10 caps for the Austria national team.

“I think Aston Villa is a great team with a great history and a huge club in England,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “They’ve done ever so well over the years and I think it shows that we’re doing our best every year to bring top-quality teams to Houston for the Charities Cup. I think it is a fantastic opportunity for the players. They will be in preseason, but for us to line up against guys like Agbonlahor and Guzan, it is a good team. I think when you get to play against some good, quality players it tests you a little bit and I think it motivates you.”

"The BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup is an exciting annual tradition for us, and we're honored to sponsor it," said BBVA Compass Houston City President Mark Montgomery. "It has such a positive effect on the East End especially, and that's exactly why we paired up with Dynamo Charities for our Building a Better Houston initiative."

The BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup is part of the “Building a Better Houston” initiative, a campaign led by Dynamo Charities and BBVA Compass to make improvements in Houston’s East End. The annual game funds Junior Achievement scholarships and the Business of Sports program for high school students in the fall. Additional initiatives will include a home renovation in April and financial education programs for East End students in May.

Tickets for the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup will go on sale to Dynamo Forever Orange Members on Thursday and will be available to Visa card holders on Friday. Individual tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 14 and will be available through HoustonDynamo.com or by calling 713-276-GOAL.

Villa will face FC Dallas on July 23 before continuing its two-city U.S. tour in Houston.