Some players derive just as much joy out of providing the goal's last pass as they do from scoring it themselves.
Here at NYCFC HQ, we believe those unselfish assist kings deserve just as much celebration as the men who get their names up in lights.
To that end, may we introduce five of the best assists we saw from our boys in blue over the course of the 2016 season.
In no particular order…
Harrison v FC Dallas
Sometimes it’s not a perfectly executed through ball which marks out a truly great assist – on occasion, a cross can split a defense just as effectively, such as this one from Jack Harrison…
The Englishman, who turned 20 on Sunday, produced a stunning center from the left to provide Khiry Shelton with this powerful header in the 2-2 draw with FC Dallas in September.
Pirlo v Columbus
It should come as little surprise that no-one at NYCFC completed more assists than Andrea Pirlo in 2016.
Il Maestro contributed 11 to the cause but there was perhaps no better pass made in the league last season than this from Andrea against Columbus in the thrilling 3-3 draw at the Mapfre Stadium.
Allen v Portland
RJ might have something to say about the above assertion… this ball through to David Villa at Providence Park was out of this universe.
Picking up the ball inside his own half, RJ had the vision and selected the perfect pass through to El Guaje from the halfway line.
One to watch again and again and again…
Harrison v Philadelphia
A scorching day at Yankee Stadium and it’s that man Harrison again with a sublime assist.
Jack burst clear of the Philadelphia defense and just when it appeared as though he was being caught up, he produced this sublime backheel for Villa to do the rest.
Strength, vision and skill.
Pirlo v Orlando
Handing the floor back to one of the best assist-makers of his generation for our final entry… a goal which was shortlisted for MLS Goal of the Year.
You’ve gotta love a no-look, reverse pass and this was a perfect example of the genre from Pirlo as he picked out Villa with a lofted ball which cut out the defense and gave David the chance to lob the onrushing goalkeeper.
Soccer as an art form!
There’s five for starters… look out for a fan vote on our best assist from 2016 in the coming weeks.