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Villyan Bijev

Villyan Bijev

Pronunciation: VILL-yuhn BEE-jev
Position: Midfielder (#20)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 170 lb
Born: January 3, 1993
Birthplace: Sofia, Bulgaria
Hometown: Fresno, California
Previous Club: Portland Timbers 2
College: N/A
How Acquired: Signed on Feb. 4, 2018 after concluding a loan spell from Portland Timbers 2 in 2017.

Career Bio

Bijev is entering his second full season with Republic FC. He originally joined the club midway through the 2017 season on loan from Portland Timbers 2 before being signed to a permanent contract in 2018. Bijev finished the 2018 season with 36 appearances across all competitions for Republic FC, recording eight goals and five assists, second-most on the team.

Prior to his arrival in Sacramento, Bijev spent a season and a half with Timbers 2 where he was named USL All-League First Team in 2016 after leading the team in goals, as well as leading both his team and the league in assists. In 2017, Bijev also led T2 with seven goals in 23 appearances before his move to Sacramento.

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Bijev and his family moved to Fresno, California, when he was five years old. At age 18, he was invited to trial for the U-18s of English Premier League side Liverpool FC. After scoring five goals across two friendlies, Bijev signed with the English giants, but was immediately loaned to Fortuna Dusseldorf in the German 2. Bundesliga due to work permit issues.

After loan spells with Dusseldorf and later Norwegian side IK Start, Bijev returned to England in 2013 to play for Liverpool's U-23 team.

Bijev and Liverpool parted ways at the end of the 2013-14 season, and after a stint at Slavia Sofia in the Bulgarian top division, he signed with Cherno More Varna, another top Bulgarian team, and helped Cherno win the 2015 Bulgarian Cup.

Bijev returned to the U.S. in 2016 and signed with Portland Timbers 2, playing in 29 games (23 starts) and tallying eight goals plus a league-leading 10 assists on the way to earning USL All-League First-Team honors.

Career Stats (USL)

2017: Made 23 appearances for Portland Timbers 2 ... Led the club in goals with seven on the season ... Played 19 minutes as a second-half substitute for the Timbers (MLS) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Seattle Sounders FC on Jun. 13.

2016: Appeared in 29 matches, including 23 starts, in his first season with T2 ... Led the club in both goals and assists with eight and 10 respectively ... Led the USL with 10 assists, helping him earn a spot on the USL All-League First Team ... Earned USL Team of the Week honors in Week 20.

2012-15: Signed with Liverpool FC and was loaned to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the German Bundesliga ... Spent three seasons in the Bulgarian First Division with Slavia Sofia and Cherno More.

International

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Bijev moved to Fresno, Calif., as a child ... Played for Cal Odyssey U-18/19 as part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy ... Has made appearances with the U.S. U-18 and U-20 National Teams as well as for the Bulgaria U-21 National Team.

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