Aston Villa boss Dean Smith left stunned by bizarre shirt snatch at Minnesota United
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith watched on in shock as a shirt he was signing for a fan was snatched away by a steward at Minnesota United.
Smith was happily mingling with supporters ahead of Villa’s first pre-season friendly of the summer at Allianz Field.
The Villa manager was in the process of signing his autograph on a Villa top when it was angrily confiscated by an official from the Major League Soccer club.
Smith looked stunned after the bizarre moment that was captured on camera by a fan and sent to BirminghamLive’s new Villa reporter Ashley Preece by popular fans’ site 7500 to Holte
Ashley said: “Dean was happily signing shirts for Villa fans.
“The supporters spotted Dean and took their shirts off, hence why a security guard came over. It seems totally out of order and Dean was in complete shock.
“There was no need for it but the issue was fans taking shirts off. Seems harsh to me. Smith seemed baffled by it, too.”
Smith named Villa’s four new signings in his starting line-up, handing debuts to Wesley, Jota, Ezri Konsa and Matt Targett.
Villa have been preparing for their Premier League return with warm weather training in Minneapolis, culminating in tonight’s practice match against their MLS hosts.
This is the XI Smith selected for the game at Allianz Field: Steer, Bree, Hause, Konsa, Targett, Hourihane, Grealish (C), O’Hare, Jota, El Ghazi, Wesley.
MLS play-off contenders Minnesota United have won seven-straight games and lie fourth in the Western Conference, just below LA Galaxy.
The Loons, as they’re known, are managed by one-time Villa man Adrian Heath who played nine times in B6 during the 1989/90 season before going on to the likes of Manchester City and Burnley.
As well as being in contention for the MLS Cup play-offs, United are also in the semi-final of the US Open Cup where they’ll host Portland Timbers in three weeks’ time.