It was quite a crown to cap the 2016 season for NYCFC and for David Villa in particular. David has won the World Cup, regional and club championships. He came to MLS two seasons ago at 33, still in his prime and hungry to succeed in a place where few foreign players have duplicated their success. Villa accomplished this with the winning of the MLS MVP Award in 2016.
Villa won over the city from the start through a tough first season with a team that was not much more than a glorified expansion franchise sprinked with two stars in Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo to go along with his. Though they rarely played together Villa still wanted to set the tone for this franchise in the heart of New York City.
“It’s the example I want to show to the people in America, in MLS, day by day,”
It was a log-jam in the voting process as he contended with New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips who led the league in goals and Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto FC, who ended Villa’s season in the first round. The media vote was even. But it was the fans who saw the silver linings.
It was there where he won the prize. Let’s see the numbers that mattered. Villa scored 23 goals, second most in MLS. He helped mentor young talents like Jack Harrison who flourished as a result. He carried the NYCFC to a second seed in the East and the first playoff appearance for a club who was only in it’s second season of existence. NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira could see it as clearly as anyone in his rookie season on the sidelines.
“It was Villa’s effort on the field, and in so many other ways, that wound up impressing his peers in the MVP Voting.”
David Villa showed a relentless disposition that spoke straight to the people, resembling another man who in another election touched the pulse of America and now stands as President of the United States. The difference in David’s case is no one is asking for a recount.