American teenager Indiana Vassilev has pushed his way up the depth chart at Aston Villa in recent weeks, and he reached a new peak on Saturday, making his English Premier League debut in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Brighton.
The 18-year-old Georgia native has worked his way into the playing rotation, having made recent appearances in the FA Cup and EFL Cup, but Saturday marked his first Premier League action and he helped spark the Aston Villa comeback, entering the match with the Villans training before a Jack Grealish equalizer just eight minutes after Vassilev entered the match.
A member of the U.S. Under-17 World Cup team in 2017, Vassilev joined Aston Villa in 2018, rising quickly up the youth ranks to play his way into the first team at the start of this year.
Age-eligible for the U.S. Under-20 national team, Vassilev has taken part in recent U.S. Under-23 national team setups, and could force his way into the conversation for the U.S. Olympic team if the Americans succeed in qualifying for the tournament.
The best thing about Indy is that he is a good kid. I used to play with his father in Savannah. Had the opportunity to play with Indy when we could sneak him into the team. Is work ethic and attitude will take him far.
Johnnyrazor I guess I was right about Indiana Vassilev….lol
I say a lot of stupid things not sure which your referring to. This still has the feel of the Gooch EPL minutes because of injury. I didn’t see him this week did he look like he belonged. He didn’t get much of the ball in the FA Cup. Villa is pretty bad and looks like they are going to be in a relegation battle till the end.
Honestly, I didn’t see him play either. Lets hope this is the start of something special with ~17 games to go
That being said he’s gotten a chance to earn a spot so hopefully he can take it. Does highlight the huge advantages that players with Euro passports have over others. Both Reyna and Vassilev made appearances today that other US teenagers wouldn’t have because of when they were able to join academies before their 18th birthday.
Whatever the situation, I don’t see that playing in the EPL at a young age is a bad thing. Jonathan Spector is one who did that and was mostly a fringe player after that until he moved down to the Championship. Still he was useful to the USMNT team for a couple of cycles and ended up making a good living from the sport.
I’m not saying it’s bad, unless you try to use your club giving you minutes due to injury or relegation to try to leverage your contract situation like Hyndman and Soto. Both lost significant field time because of early minutes. The big issue is the fans who will now despite never seeing him play rate him above any US AM because he plays in the EPL. Which has no impact on his development but is just annoying.