Vassilev becomes 2nd-youngest American in Premier League

Sports

American forward Indiana Vassilev became the second-youngest American to play in England’s Premier League when he appeared as a substitute in the second half at Brighton.

Vassilev entered in the 67th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 draw. At 18 years, 11 months, 2 days, he became the second-youngest behind defender Jonathan Spector, who was 18 years, 5 months, 27 days when he played his first league game for Manchester United against Blackburn on Aug. 28, 2004.

Vassilev made his first senior team appearance for Aston Villa as a substitute in the FA Cup against Fulham on Jan. 4.

He played for the U.S. alongside Josh Sargent and Tim Weah at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, where the Americans lost to England in the quarterfinals.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, to parents of Bulgarian heritage, Vassilev played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and signed with Aston Villa in 2018.

Vassilev was one of two debuts for Americans in Europe this week. Midfielder Gio Reyna, a son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, made his debut for Borussia Dortmund as a 72nd-minute substitute at Augsburg on Saturday.

At 17 years, 2 months, 5 days, Reyna became the youngest American to play in the Bundesliga. Midfielder Christian Pulisic was 17 years, 4 months, 12 days when he debuted for Dortmund against Ingolstadt on Jan. 30, 2016

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