TAMPA, Fla. – Central Valley Fuego FC forward Villyan Bijev was voted USL League One’s Player of the Month for May. The veteran forward recorded three goals and two assists to lead Central Valley to its first unbeaten month in club history.
"I'm proud to be in a position where I can help grow the sport I love in the city where I grew up,” Bijev said. “I want to play to the best of my ability every time I step on the field. As a teammate, I want to do my part to help my team win. As a player, I want to give fans a good experience so that Fuego FC and USL League One can grow as much as possible. I hope earning Player of the Month will bring more eyes to my team and to this league. There are a lot of talented players with a lot of potential.”
After a quiet start to the month, Bijev finished May on a tear, recording a trio of goals in his final pair of matches. After assisting Diego Casillas' go-ahead goal in Fuego FC's home opener, Bijev again assisted Casillas’ equalizing goal in Chattanooga on May 14 which led to a 2-2 draw in his second match of the month. In Fuego FC’s following contest, Bijev guided Central Valley to its largest win in club history – a 4-0 thumping of Tormenta FC – thanks to a seven-minute brace as the first half expired. In May's final match, Bijev netted a stoppage-time equalizer to stun Madison in Fresno.
"Vill's performance on the field has been very consistent and productive. His goals and assists in eight regular season and two U.S. Open Cup matches have helped us win matches and earn points," said Head Coach Martín Vásquez. "I'm very proud of Vill off the field for his true leadership and commitment to Fuego FC."
Bijev received 47% of a weighted poll that included the USL League One Technical Committee and an online fan vote held at USLLeagueOne.com. Fellow Central Valley Fuego FC man Diego Casillas finished second on 24% after recording two goals and one assist in just 108 minutes of play, while North Carolina FC’s Oalex Anderson finished third on 18% after registering two goals and two assists.
|Nominee||Fan Vote||Weight||USL Vote||Weight||Total Vote|
|Villyan Bijev (CV)||25%||15%||80%||32%||47%|
|Diego Casillas (CV)||40%||24%||0%||0%||24%|
|Oalex Anderson (NC)||16%||10%||20%||8%||18%|
|Allen Gavilanes (GVL)||13%||8%||0%||0%||8%|
|Garrett McLaughlin (NC)||6%||4%||0%||0%||4%|