Indiana Vassilev Profile
|Born||Feb 16, 2001|
|Birthplace||Savannah, Georgia, United States|
The Aston Villa player declined the chance to represent Bulgaria on the international stage and declared his intentions to represent the United States.
Indiana Vassilev currently plays for Premier League side Aston Villa. He joined the Villans in 2018, putting pen-to-paper on a professional deal after starting his playing career at IMG Academy, which is a soccer training camp based in Florida.
Vassilev's main position is on the left wing, but he is capable of playing across the midfield when called upon. He can also lead the attack as a striker. Even though he was born in Savannah, Georgia, he is of Bulgarian descent. His parents relocated to the United States in the early 1990s, before he was born in 2001.
Indiana Vassilev and Aston Villa
Vassilev took up soccer at an early age before relocating to the IMG Academy in Florida for school and sporting purposes. He showed good progress and earned his first USA U-17 call-up shortly before his 16th birthday. Aston Villa first caught sight of him when he impressed at the U-17 World Cup in India.
Rusty Scarborough, the head of IMG Academy, described Vassilev as someone who is "phenomenal on the ball" and when he is playing "you know he is out there, he's a leader and people follow him."
Villa soon signed him and he linked up with their U-18 side for the 2017/18 season. He settled into his new surroundings well as he made 28 appearances for the U-18s, scoring four goals and having four assists. He was promoted to the U-23 side towards the end of 2018, before becoming a regular during the 2019/20 season under the guidance of Villa legend Mark Delaney.
The attacking midfielder impressed in the Premier League 2 during the 2019/20 campaign too, scoring six times and providing two assists in his 14 outings. This led to him being inserted into Villa's senior Premier League squad. He was given his debut by Villa boss Dean Smith on January 4, 2020, in a ten-minute cameo against Fulham in the FA Cup. Vassilev went on to make four substitute appearances in the top flight and one appearance in the Carabao Cup shortly after his debut. In May 2020, he signed a two-year contract extension with Villa.
On September 17, 2020, it was announced that Vassilev had joined Burton Albion on a loan deal. He made his debut for the League One outfit two days after joining as they beat Accrington Stanley 2-1 at home in the league. He subsequently made a separate loan move to League Two team Cheltenham Town in January 2020.
Vassilev's youth international career
Due to the nationality of his parents, Vassilev is able to play for both the United States and Bulgaria. He opted to play for the US, and he has been capped at every youth level from U-16 to U-20 so far.
In January 2020, Bulgaria U-21 coach, Georgi Dermendzhiev, approached him about playing for their national team. Indiana and his father had a conversation with the Bulgarian Football Union after which they "very kindly refused to play for Bulgaria." Vassilev continued to represent the United States, where he has performed strongly so far.
Vassilev scored three times in 17 outings for the US U-17s, which included four appearances at the U-17 World Cup. He was one of the United States' best players during this tournament, and it was these performances which caught the eye of Aston Villa. The US were eliminated by England U-17s in the quarterfinals.
Vassilev was promoted to the U-18 side just before his 17th birthday. He made six appearances for them, scoring twice. In September 2019, the midfielder made his first appearances for the U-20 side at the age of 18.
He is yet to be called up to the US U-23 or Senior side, but he is very highly rated by coaches throughout the United States setup. If his progression goes as well as his talent suggests, an eventual senior call-up seems likely.
When you look at Vassilev's family, it is not surprising that he sought a career in soccer. His parents relocated to the United States from Bulgaria in the 1990s and his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all played soccer back home.
At the time of writing, Vassilev has a current market value of £225,000, according to Transfermarkt. He is represented by Stellar Football Ltd. They work with a large number of players around the world, including Saul Niguez, Ben Chilwell and Jack Grealish.
According to Celebs Wiki, as of 2020, his net worth is between $1-5 million, which comes from his time playing for Aston Villa and the United States.