Villyan Bijev

Villyan Bijev (Bulgarian: Вилиян Бижев, born 3 January 1993 in Sofia) is a Bulgarian-American footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Sacramento Republic FC in the USL.

Villyan Bijev
Personal information
Date of birth (1993-01-03) 3 January 1993
Place of birth Sofia, Bulgaria
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder, Forward
Club information
Current team
Sacramento Republic
Number 20
Youth career
2008–2011 California Odyssey[1]
2011–2014 Liverpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2014 Liverpool 0 (0)
2011–2012Fortuna Düsseldorf II (loan) 16 (4)
2011–2012Fortuna Düsseldorf (loan) 1 (0)
2012IK Start (loan) 1 (0)
2014 Slavia Sofia 10 (1)
2015 Cherno More 23 (3)
2016–2017 Portland Timbers 2 52 (16)
2017Sacramento Republic (loan) 11 (2)
2018– Sacramento Republic 58 (7)
National team
2010–2011 United States U18 3 (0)
2012 United States U20 3 (0)
2013–2015 Bulgaria U21 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 October 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 November 2013

Early life

Villyan Bijev was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and moved with his family to the United States at the age of five in 1998.[2] He grew up in Fresno, California and began his youth career with local school team. In 2008, at the age of 15, Bijev joined California Odyssey.



Bijev originally signed to play college soccer at the University of Washington in the fall of 2011, but in July 2011, Liverpool invited Bijev for a trial with the Under 18s.[3] He left a great impression, netting five goals in two pre-season friendly games, earning himself a permanent switch to the Merseyside outfit in the process on a reported three-year deal with an additional two-year option. Liverpool officially announced the signing from US outfit California Odyssey on 31 August 2011.

He was released from the club at the end of the 2013–14 season.[4]

Loan spells

The same day he signed for Liverpool, it was announced that Bijev had signed on loan for German side Fortuna Düsseldorf for the 2011–12 season.[5] Bijev played mostly for Fortuna B-squad, where he scored 4 goals in 16 games. He appeared once for the first team, playing the last 8 minutes of a 2–1 away loss against Hansa Rostock on 5 April 2012, in the place of Adam Matuszczyk.[6]

On 27 August 2012, Bijev joined Norwegian First Division side IK Start on a one year loan, as this will help him gain the necessary work permits to play in England.[7] Bijev made his debut for the club in a 2–1 win over Hødd.[8] Though he made one appearance, the club would be promoted to Tippeligaen.

Slavia Sofia

After being released by Liverpool, Bijev joined Bulgarian A Football Group side Slavia Sofia.[9] He made his league debut for the club in a 4–1 home win against Marek Dupnitsa on 19 July 2014. Bijev marked his debut with a goal, scoring the fourth. In December 2014, his contract with Slavia was terminated by mutual consent.

Cherno More

On 12 January 2015, Bijev signed with Cherno More Varna on a one-and-a-half-year deal. He made his debut on 27 February, starting in a 2–0 home league win against Slavia Sofia. Bijev scored his first official goal for Cherno More on 5 March, netting the fourth in a 5–0 success at Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa for the Bulgarian Cup.

International career

Born in Bulgaria but raised in the United States, Bijev is eligible for both nations. He has represented the United States at the under-18 and under-20 level and Bulgaria at the under-21 level.[10][11] He has yet to represent either at the senior level.

Career statistics

as of 31 December 2018

Club performanceLeagueCupContinentalTotal
Liverpool 2011–12 Premier League 00000000
Fortuna Düsseldorf II (loan) 2011–12 Regionalliga 16400164
Fortuna Düsseldorf (loan) 2011–12 2. Bundesliga 100010
IK Start (loan) 2012 First Division 100010
Liverpool 2012–13 Premier League 00000000
2013–14 000000
Total 00000000
Slavia Sofia 2014–15 A Group 10110111
Cherno More 2014–15 11242154
2015–16 1211320154
Total 2335520308
Portland Timbers 2 2016 United Soccer League 29102910
2017 237237
Sacramento Republic 2017[12] 9 2 9 2
2018 32 6 2 2 32 8
Total 611500009323
Portland Timbers 2017 Major League Soccer 001010
Career statistics9421752010626



Cherno More


  1. "Clovis North graduate Villyan Bijev follows soccer dreams overseas". Clovis Independent. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  2. "Вилян Бижев симпатизира на Ливърпул и Барселона" (in Bulgarian). 5 March 2015.
  3. "Bijev Signs Pro Contract With Liverpool FC". UW Athletics. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  4. "Clubs submit retained and released lists". Premier League. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  5. "Liverpool sign US starlet Villyan Bijev & loan him to Fortuna Dusseldorf". 31 August 2011.
  6. "Hansa Rostock 2–1 Fortuna Düsseldorf". 5 April 2012.
  7. "Liverpool Player on your way to Start" [Liverpoolspiller på vei til Start] (in Norwegian). 24 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  8. "Match Report: Start 2 - 1 Hødd" [Match Report: Start 2 - 1 Hødd] (in Norwegian). Alrom Football. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  9. "Славия взима футболист на Ливърпул" (in Bulgarian). 16 May 2014.
  10. "Диего Фераресо става национал" (in Bulgarian). 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  11. "Таланти от Ливърпул и Ханза ще играят за България" (in Bulgarian). 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  12. "Villyan Bijev". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
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