David Villa showed fans and the league why he was New York City FC’s first-ever signing and captain with one goal and one assist as New York City FC beat 2014 MLS Eastern Conference Champion New England 2-0 in front of 43,507 on Sunday evening at iconic Yankee Stadium.
For his performance in the victory, Villa was named the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for Week 2.
“He’s such a special player,” forward Patrick Mullins said. “If the rest of the forwards and I get in the right positions we can benefit from him this season. Obviously we want to help him as much as we can with his game. He’s a well-rounded player. He can do it all and he showed it today.”
Villa helped make Club history, finding the back of the net for the first time at Yankee Stadium. In the 19th minute, Spain’s all-time goal scorer sprinted down the left sideline and cut inside before laying the ball off to Ned Grabavoy. The midfielder fed the ball back to Villa, who continued his run into the box, and the forwarded slotted it into the lower right corner for a 1-0 advantage.
The 2010 World Cup winner was instrumental in New York City FC’s second goal in the second half. Villa received the ball near midfield and darted toward the 18-yard box. He had a nifty stop-and-go move to beat his defender before slipping the ball across to Mullins, who was subbed onto the field a minute prior, for an easy tap-in.
Five of Villa’s six shots were on target. He had 44 passes with three leading to scoring opportunities. Villa continued a proud record of 51 games for club and country without losing a game in which he’s scored (44 wins, 7 draws).
The New York City FC forward was blanketed by Orlando City SC in his MLS debut as the two expansion sides drew 1-1 on March 8.
Head coach Jason Kreis was proud of Villa’s improvement from Week 1 to Week 2.
“I thought he was much improved,” Kreis said after Sunday’s victory. “I thought last week it was very, very difficult for him. This is an extremely physical league in which the defenders don’t give you any time or space on the ball and there’s a lot of physical confrontations because of that. I know he’s an incredibly talented player, an incredibly smart player and he’s not shy of working hard.
“For me, he’s the exact type of player who will be incredibly successful in this league.”
Villa’s goal was nominated for the MLS Goal of the Week and he was also named to the MLS Team of the Week.
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