The United Soccer League announced their Team of the Week earlier today, and midfielder Villyan Bijev was rewarded for his standout performance in a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Colorado Switchbacks FC.
In that match, Bijev scored the game-winning goal in impressive fashion, but he also recorded three key passes, won 10 of 14 duels and completed 35 of 41 passes. Not bad for a night’s work. While we’re at it, I feel like his goal is worth replaying. What a beauty.
Bijev has really been a steady force for Republic FC manager Simon Elliott so far this season, but really since he arrived late last season on loan from Portland Timbers 2.
He’s also proven to be durable, starting in each of the first six matches for the Republic —logging a total of 519 minutes (with only one sub off). His ability to play multiple positions gives Elliott a lot of flexibility and makes it difficult to not put him in the starting XI.
In addition to his first goal of the season last Saturday, Bijev also has an assist on the year.
This high-level of play is not unfamiliar terriority for Bijev. After all, he was named to the 2016 USL All-League First Team and was the USL Assists Champion that same year.
In many way, he has become one of the most important pieces for the Republic in what has been a promising start to the 2018 season. It’s easy to see why Republic general manager Todd Dunivant had this to say about Bijev after re-signing him in the off-season.
“Bijev is a natural goal scorer that will add firepower to our attack,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “He is a player we were really happy to bring back and someone that our fans know very well both from the time he has played with us and with T2.”
Cheers to that and to many more performances like he turned out last weekend.