Odyssey star gets hat-trick in Select game

Odyssey star gets hat-trick in Select game
December 5, 2010

PHOENIX – Villyan Bijev was more than just a star among stars Saturday – he was a supernova.

With the best players in the Development Academy on one field, the Cal Odyssey forward stole the show during the 1992-93 Select Team match with a hat-trick that guided his Red Team to a 3-0 victory.

{mosvideo:350}Bijev netted all three goals in the first half – and in about a 15 minute stretch, no less – and likely boosted his stock in front of a crowd U.S. and college coaches, players and fans.

For Bijev, who is heading to play college ball at Washington next year, it was just an extension of his growth as a player over the last couple years.

“I went to national camps at the beginning of this year, and when I left it encouraged me to get better,” said Bijev, who has played in two Development Academy National Championship games for the Odyssey. “To get three goals is big time; I’m I was able to showcase myself.”

Bijev beat talented goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin three straight times on what he deemed “finesse” goals, while getting good feeds from teammates like Robert Botchway, a big target who was representing Concorde Fire.

On the final score, the most impressive one, he bolted through the left side of the defense and was able to flick the ball with the outside of his right foot.

elite boys youth club soccer playersSelect team players battle for the ball.
While the Blue Team was being left behind in terms of score, they were winning on style points. In particular, CASL midfielder Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler and Concorde Fire’s Jordan McCrary showed off polish and craftiness with the ball.

Vandermaas-Peeler tried on a couple of occasions to back-tap the ball for a goal – the right play at the time, believe it or not – while McCrary was magical in tight space.

One of the main things you notice when watching a collection of gifted players on the field together is the lack of wasted plays. There were few frivolous long balls sent up, it was a constant ground game, and a solid one.

In the second half, Blue Team substitutes Monbo Bokar (CASL) and Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC) made a big impact and were pursuant on the attack.  

Both players are supreme athletes who disrupted the Red defense with their 1v1 ability and quick decisions.

Red Team second-half goalkeeper Matthew Pacifici was under pressure in the closing minutes, and he made a great save while laying out to his right on a shot from Bokar and a follow from Ricardo Velasco.

Weston FC’s Brian James came on in the second half for the Red Team and was smooth in the midfield, taking space and advancing the ball consistently.

Red Team Lineup
GK: Jeffery Gal
D: Jack Coleman, Dakota Edwards, Nathan Diehl, DeAndre Yedlin
M: Nick Palodichuk, Riley Wolfe, Miguel Lopez, Jamael Cox
F: Vilyan Bijev, Robert Botchway
Subs: Julian Griggs, Verneri Valimaa, Nathaniel Eggleston, Brian James, Nathan Diehl, Amadou Dia, Matthew Pacifici, Dakota Edwards, Dean Christian

Blue Team Lineup
GK: Jonathan Kempin
D: Jonathan Campbell, Boyd Okwuonu, Michael Ambrose
M: Jordan McCrary, Will Trapp, Eric Miller, Khiry Shelton
F: Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler, Jonathan Top, Victor Pineda
Subs: Andrew Wolverton, Monbo Bokar, Ricardo Velasco, Leo Ayala, Gregory Antognoli, Sean Okoli, Andrew Wolverton, Peter Beasley

1994-95 Select Red Team 2, Blue Team 1

In the younger select affair, L.A. Galaxy’s Jack McBean scored and assisted on a second goal by Nick Tobias (St. Louis Scott Gallagher) as the Red Team took the match.

Baltimore Bays striker Michael Gamble scored for the Blue squad and had a good chance to tie it late but goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made a game preserving save.

Red Team Roster: David Silva, Jesse Ham, Max Brashear, Devin L'Amoreaux, Dylan Greenberg, Nick Lima, Bradley Bourgeois, Anthony Ricci, Christian Duarte, Nick Tobias, Michael Amick, Andy Lopez, Alfred Koroma, Anthony Jeffries, Zachary Carroll, Holden Fender, Ethan Horvath, Jack McBean

Blue Team Roster: Santiago Castano, Edson Cardona, Michael Russo, Benjamin Lopez, Steven Oliveri, Dakotah Millard, Michael Gamble, Julio Alarcon, Michael King, Reed Norton, Jordan Allen, Preston Gayton, Zachary Mathers, Pedro Velazquez, Reagan Dunk, Paul Blanchette, Todd Wharton, Justin Dhillon


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