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Apr 4, 2014

Brad Guzan says MLS has grown

Mauro Diaz scored in the 84th minute to lead unbeaten FC Dallas to a 2-1 victory over Portland Timbers on Saturday night.

Major League Soccer will provide a challenge for Aston Villa when they play sides FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo on a U.S. summer tour in July, U.S. international Brad Guzan told ESPN FC on Friday.

Palmer: Guzan keen to face world's best

"Since I left the MLS for England it is unbelievable how much the game has grown over there," said Guzan, who played four seasons in the MLS with Chivas USA. "A lot of kids play soccer but when they get to 10 or 12 they end up choosing basketball, baseball or American football. So it is good to now see kids starting to stick with it. Winning our group at the 2010 World Cup played a big part."

The Villans -- whose chairman, Randy Lerner, ran the Cleveland Browns for a decade before selling the NFL franchise in 2012 -- have travelled to play in America on six occasions in the past.

"I still keep up with the teams in the MLS and how they’re doing, and the league in general," said Guzan. "It will be nice to see some old friends and some familiar faces when we get over there but, more importantly, it will be a good chance for us to get our preseason underway and really try to get some quality work done."

Villa will play Dallas on July 23 at the Toyota Stadium, while facing Dynamo on July 26 at the BVA Compass Stadium.

Villa have 26 supporters’ clubs in the U.S., including the Dallas Lions, and the club’s manager Paul Lambert said the good facilities, fine weather and support will be the perfect preparation ahead of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign.

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