Indiana Vassilev was rewarded by English Premier League side Aston Villa after an impressive rise to the first team this season.
The top-flight club announced Monday that Vassilev has signed a new two-year contract, keeping him at Villa Park until June 2022. Vassilev made the move to Villa in 2018 from IMG Academy in Florida and has since moved up the ranks to the first team.
“It was a no-brainer for me,” Vassilev said in an interview for the club’s website. “This past year the club have supported me a lot and I’ve been able to break into the first team.”
“Since I’ve done that, I’ve received a lot of support from staff and players. I’m really, really happy to have signed for another two years. I’ve got to keep working hard and hopefully the future will hold a lot of great things.”
Vassilev scored six goals and registered two assists in 15 combined appearances with Villa’s Under-23 side. His positive outings earned him a first team debut in the FA Cup against Fulham in January, before eventually earning three additional appearances in both EPL and EFL Cup play.
In total, the 19-year-old American has played 62 minutes in all competitions for Dean Smith’s side, but has yet to open his goalscoring account.
Also an option for the U.S. Men’s National Team down the road, Vassilev has made two appearances for the Under-20’s. He is also an option for the Under-23’s in the future under head coach Jason Kreis, with the rescheduled 2021 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament still on the radar.
Aston Villa are 19th in the Premier League this season, totaling 25 points from 28 matches. Should the season resume play in June, the Villains will need a strong run of form to avoid a quick relegation back to the EFL Championship.