Young Liverpool striker Villyan Bijev has today joined Norwegian side Start on a season-long loan.
This is his 2nd loan since he joined Liverpool from American side California Odyssey.
Last year, he played for Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 2nd team, scoring 4 goals in 16 appearances. He only managed 1 appearance for the first team.
He was born in California and is of Bulgarian descent.
Due to difficulties to get a work permit in the UK, Liverpool have had no choice but to find clubs to take him on loan till a work permit for him can be guaranteed.
Thanks to rawk for the pic
U20 MNT defeats Houston Dynamo Academy
Article Written by Houston Dynamo
Published: June 4, 2012
The U.S. U20 men’s national team wrapped up their five-day training camp in Houston with a 2-0 win over the Dynamo Academy U18s, presented by Statoil, Saturday morning at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. Villyan Bijev scored a first-half brace to lead the visitors.
The U20 MNT started strong, pushing the tempo and nearly getting on the board in the sixth minute. Daniel Garcia, a midfielder for the FC Dallas U18s, received a ball on the left hand side of the penalty box and fired a shot on target. The ball hit Dynamo right back Sam Omondi in the stomach before it was cleared from danger.
Three minutes later, the U20s were on the offensive again, and this time they capitalized. Garcia picked up the ball on the left side and dribbled into the corner. The Dallas native found Bijev at the back post as the Fortuna Dusseldorf (German second division) striker headed it home to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
It did not take long for the U20s to double their lead. Less than two minutes later, Chicago Fire midfielder Victor Pineda picked the pocket of Dynamo Academy left back Leo Ayala. Bijev picked up the loose ball on the sideline, raced in on goal and slotted it past Dynamo goalkeeper Leopoldo Castillo.
Castillo made four saves in the game including a diving one-handed stop on a 30-yard strike by Caleb Stanko in the 15th minute.
The Dynamo’s best opportunity came in the 55th minute against the run of play. Forward Manuel Chavez dropped into the Dynamo’s half of the field to pick up the loose ball off a clearance from a corner kick and found Glen Reid between two U20 defenders. Reid took two touches to separate himself from the defenders and fired a low shot on target. Second-half goalkeeper Tomas Gomez dropped to his right to make the U20’s only save of the game.
The U20 MNT were without the services of Real Salt Lake striker Luis Gil who picked up a knock in Friday’s training session. Gil returned to Salt Lake to be examined by team physicians. Vancouver Whitecaps forward Omar Salgado will join the squad for the remainder of the trip. The team will conclude their camp with matches against Uruguay, on June 6 and June 8, followed by a June 12 game against Chile in Santiago.
January 10, 2012, 3:45 pm For Villyan Bijev, Destination Liverpool, With a Stop in Düsseldorf
As the week-long United States under-20 camp ended last Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., one of the players who is shaping up to be an important part of the team in months ahead is the forward Villyan Bijev. Bijev arrived in camp after a phenomenal 2011 during which the youngster sign a professional contract with Liverpool. Along with Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil, he is one of the most high-profile players on the 36-man roster.
For Bijev, 18, it was his first time with the U.S. team and he is pleased with how both he and the team performed.
“The camp has been great and there are a lot of great players here,” Bijev said. “I feel like I’ve been playing well. Everybody just came off of winter break so I think it’s kind of normal that a few of the players would be a little bit rusty. But taking that into consideration, I think everyone is playing really well and I feel that my performance has been good at this stage.”
Earlier last year Bijev had been playing with the U.S. U-18 team and had made initial plans to attend the University of Washington. But in the summer he made headlines when he went on a trial at Liverpool and delivered a stellar performance.
During the trial he played in two games for Liverpool’s U-18 team. In the first game against Tranmere, he scored two goals and assisted on a third in a 6-1 win. In the second game, against Stevenage, he scored a hat-trick and added another assist in an 8-1 win.
Club officials at Liverpool were clearly impressed and they wasted no time in signing Bijev to a three-year contract with a club option for two more years.
“I believe the trial worked out so well because I got a chance to play with players who have been playing professionally since they were young,” he said. “I got to train with [the players] before the scrimmages. During the scrimmages I knew what they would be looking for. I was making good runs and the ball was just there. All I had to do was put it away which is the instinct I have as a forward. I guess the chips just fell where they needed to fall.”
Bijev was born in Bulgaria but moved to Fresno, Calif., when he was a child and it is there he began to develop while playing for the California Odyssey, one of the premier youth club teams in the country. When he was 17 he obtained his American citizenship.
Bijev was unable to play for Liverpool after signing for at least a year because he had no way of obtaining a British work permit at the time because of Bulgaria’s transitional status in the European Union.
Because of this issue, Liverpool immediately sent Bijev on a season-long loan to Fortuna Düsseldorf in Germany’s second highest division, the 2.Bundesliga. The club was seen as a solid choice as they were anticipated to be in strong contention for promotion.
“I like being in Germany a lot,” Bijev said. “The style of play at Fortuna Düsseldorf is also possession and the speed of play is very fast. That has helped me a lot as far as knowing what to do with the ball before I get it and playing one or two touch. I would definitely prefer to be in Liverpool from the beginning and not have to go on loan. But due to the work permit situation, if I had to be out on loan anywhere, I would prefer to be in Germany.”
The first half of his season with Fortuna Düsseldorf has proven to be difficult for Bijev to break into the first team primarily because of an ankle injury that lingered.
“I rolled my ankle during a game where we were playing on artificial turf,” Bijev recalled. “I just kept taping it and playing on it. It got to the point where I could no longer play on it. I flew over to Liverpool and had treatment there and came back to Germany to have more treatment. I returned to playing and I made the mistake of playing without tape. I reinjured it even worse.”
The injury kept him out four weeks and it was not until the beginning of December that he began to feel 100 percent. He finished 2011 on a positive note with solid training in Germany before the winter break.
For Bijev, it put the exclamation point on a year that saw a meteoric rise and laid the foundation for him progress at one of the world’s most storied clubs.
“Last year was the most progression I’ve made in my career and I think the main thing has to do with focus,” Bijev said. “I always wanted to go pro as opposed to going to college. Knowing that, I pushed myself to the limits with the California Odyssey as well as doing trainings on my own and in the U-18 camps just trying to get better every day. In the end it worked out for me.”
Now in 2012 Fortuna Düsseldorf is in first place as the end of the winter break nears, and Bijev’s top goal is to make the first team during the second half of the season to ensure the club’s promotion to the Bundesliga. To do that, however, he feels that the next step in his development is to improve his physical strength.
“The areas of my game that I want to improve on are mainly to get stronger and stronger on the ball,” Bijev said. “To be a forward I need to have good upper-body strength. Also, [I want to work on] shooting from range and making better contact with the ball to keep [my shots] low. Other than that, I feel like I have good awareness when I’m in the box. When the ball comes to my feet, I know what to do with it.”
When Bijev joined the U.S. U-20 team last week, he was hoping to boost a team that was coming off a bitterly disappointing cycle in 2011 where it put together a talented team but fell short of qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup after an upset loss to Guatemala in the quarterfinals of the qualifying tournament.
Last fall, U.S. Soccer hired Tab Ramos to coach the U-20 team and reinvigorate the program. Bijev had never met Ramos before the camp but after his first experience playing under the former U.S. national team captain, Bijev said he enjoys the style of play Ramos wants to implement and feels that it will mirror top teams in the United States.
“I like the way he coaches very much,” Bijev said of Ramos. “He seems like a very possession-minded coach, which I think is very important as far as the direction that the United States wants to go soccer-wise. I think it’s important as opposed to in the past [when] we were known to be more physical and fit guys just chasing the ball. I would prefer we keep possession — we play with ball and make the other team chase us. That’s what Tab wants to do.”
Bijev is familiar with most of the key players on the U.S. U-20 team and is confident they will have the ability to succeed as they move forward in building a team to qualify and succeed at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
The development path he is on, however, is different from the path of most of the players in camp. On the 36-man roster, 15 are currently in the N.C.A.A. ranks. There have been many players like Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, and Vedad Ibisevic who have played in college that have had great success.
Still despite the success of a few, the environment with professional clubs in Europe is simply different for players at that age.
“There are a lot of great players in this U-20 group,” Bijev said. “One thing I can say is the only difference in playing abroad is that those players play on a daily basis from a young age. With the U.S., most of the players are in college so they have many other responsibilities on top of playing soccer. Whereas the professionals, their main focus is just to play soccer as opposed to going to school and jobs.”
Bijev is excited to be part of the U.S. U-20 team, but as with any player with dual citizenship, the issue of which country a player will represent arises and Bijev’s situation is no different.
Bijev is happy to have multiple options and he does not discount the idea of representing Bulgaria. Still, he happy to be with the U.S. U-20 team and is committed to the U.S. program at this stage.
“Right now the U.S. is in my mind in terms of who I want to represent,” Bijev said. “But at this young stage in my career and also in my life I think it’s a good thing I have an opportunity to play for either country. I would like to keep all my options open. But right now I am committed to the U.S. I’m very blessed to have been called into this camp and I’m very thankful. I’m happy to be here.”
Brian Sciaretta, a native of Bernardsville, N.J., and a graduate of Georgetown University, writes about U.S. national teams and youth national teams for the Web site yanks-abroad.com. Follow him on Twitter, @briansciaretta.
Official: Liverpool sign US Starlet Villyan Bijev and Loan him to Fortuna Dusseldorf of Germany
Liverpool have signed young American striker Villyan Bijev from US side California Odyssey
After impressing on a trial period at Melwood, scoring five goals in two games for the Reds in July, the youngster has now signed a three-year deal with the club.
“This is such an incredible achievement for Villyan, stated California Odyssey Club Director Jeremy Schultz, he has been so committed to soccer and this reward for him is much deserved. He has displayed not only the ability to maximize his potential through dedication, commitment and hard work and seize his moments of opportunity but he has maintained a humble spirit and become a man of character along his journey. We are so incredibly proud of his accomplishments and know that Villyan will continue to push himself to achieve more. He is a special player who has consistently proven to be the best in his environment; we know that he expects the same of himself as he becomes a part of a legendary club such as Liverpool FC. We will be anxiously observing his career unfold in front of the world, and you can rest assured that Liverpool FC has just captured a new fan base in Central California!”
"Liverpool Complete American Starlet Signing: Villyan Bijev Impresses During Trial"
US starlet Villyan Bijev signs for Liverpool – report The Reds have reportedly captured the talented 18-year-old American forward, who is understood to have signed a three-year deal with the English Premier League club
American teenager Villyan Bijev has agreed terms this weekend with Premier League giants Liverpool, according to a report from Californian news channel KMPH Fox 26.
The report claimed that Bijev has signed a three-year contract with a two-year option, and his past coach and former MLS midfielder Chad McCarty confirmed the information to the television station.
Liverpool has brought in a number of talented youngsters from across Europe and indeed now North America, to play alongside talents in their youth teams. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Nathan Eccleston and David Amoo were brought in from QPR, Bury and Milwall respectively and all appear to have bright futures ahead of them.
Jonjo Shelvey was brought in from Charlton Athletic and is already a regular in the first team set-up whilst Daniel Pacheco and Daniel Ayala came from Barcelona and Sevilla and have both made their senior debuts for Liverpool.
After a barren spell there are also now homegrown Liverpool talents coming through and impressing. Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing, John Flanagan, Jack Robinson and Stephen Darby have all made it through the youth and academy systems and into the Anfield squad and it does seem that Kenny Dalglish is more than happy to blood these youngsters, which can only be good news for the long term future of the club.
Below is a *website link to footage of Bijev in action during a recent 8-0 demolition of Stevenage, during which the striker nets a hat-trick as well as being felled for a penalty and notching up a clever back heel assist.
So Liverpool continues their policy of bringing in talented youngsters to integrate with those coming through the club’s own youth and academy systems. Bijev is said to have greatly impressed during this trial period at the club and that Liverpool had no qualms in offering the Fresno resident a three year deal.
The American will avoid any work permit issues due to his holding Bulgarian citizenship. The rangy striker netted five goals in two trial matches for the club’s Under 18 and also provided two assists which led to the offer of a permanent contract by the Merseyside club.