Villa Named to MLS Best XI for 2017

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David Villa has been named to Major League Soccer's Best XI for 2017.

The NYCFC Team MVP for 2017 scored 22 goals and racked up nine assists in Regular Season play to once again be recognized as one of the league's best.

It's the second time in a row that Villa has been named in the MLS XI.

Everyone at NYCFC would like to congratulate David for this latest achievement in his storied career.

MLS Release

Major League Soccer today revealed the 2017 MLS Best XI, recognizing the league’s top players at each position on the field as determined by media, MLS players and MLS technical staff. The 11 players named to the Best XI represent some of the league’s most exciting and accomplished talent comprised of international stars, breakout players and top newcomers to the league.

2017 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)

Defenders: Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Ike Opara (Sporting Kansas City), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Víctor Vázquez (Toronto FC), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), David Villa (New York City FC)


The 2017 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia suits up in between the posts on the Best XI. The American had a breakout season in 2017, posting career highs in wins (12), shutouts (10), saves (91), minutes (2,759) and games started (31), while leading Sporting Kansas City to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title. Melia’s 10 shutouts ranked second in the league as he helped SKC to its seventh consecutive postseason appearance. 

Manning the Best XI back line are three standout defenders who led their clubs to postseason appearances. The 2017 MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara anchored a Sporting defense that conceded a league-low 29 goals, the fewest allowed in a single MLS regular season since 2012. Opara led SKC to a record fourth U.S. Open Cup title in 2017, his second Open Cup title with the club.

Joining him is towering 6-foot-5 Kendall Waston, who provided an intimidating aerial presence with a career-high four goals scored, helping Vancouver Whitecaps FC to a third-place finish in the Western Conference standings. Rounding out the group is Toronto FC’s Justin Morrow, who scored a career-high eight goals in his eighth MLS campaign this season. Morrow helped Toronto produce a dominant regular season, allowing a mere 37 goals scored for the second-lowest total in the league this season.

All five 2017 Landon Donovan MLS MVP finalists, along with the top four vote receivers for the 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year, compose a talented midfield and forward group on the Best XI squad. Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri became the second player in MLS history to register a 20-plus goal and 10-plus assist season, helping his squad to the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

Valeri set a league record when he scored in nine consecutive matches this season. In the Eastern Conference, Víctor Vázquez helped Toronto FC set an MLS regular season record with 69 points. The Spanish midfielder finished second in MLS with 16 assists to go along with eight goals scored.

Toronto FC teammate Sebastian Giovinco finished inside the top 10 with 16 goals scored, helping TFC become the first Canadian club in league history to capture the Supporters’ Shield, while also winning the 2017 Canadian Championship.

The skilled Italian playmaker ranks tied for third in MLS history with 55 goals scored across a player’s first three seasons in the league. Complementing Giovinco on the Best XI is New York City FC forward David Villa, whose 63 goals rank first all-time among a player’s first three seasons in the league. Villa finished second in the league with 22 goals scored in addition to nine assists on the season.

Nemanja Nikolić makes the Best XI squad in his debut MLS season after capturing the 2017 MLS Golden Boot with 24 goals scored, the fourth time he has led his respective league in goals scored, accomplishing the feat across three different countries.

A talented and young Designated Player duo from Atlanta United rounds out the Best XI. Forward Josef Martínez scored 19 goals in his debut MLS season, fourth-most in the league this season and the highest goal total ever by a player on an expansion team.

The 23-year-old Almirón, meanwhile finished tied for fourth in MLS with 14 assists to go along with his nine goals scored. The talented MLS newcomers helped Atlanta become the third active expansion team to make the postseason in its debut MLS season, while the club’s 70 goals scored this season set an expansion team record.

Seven of the players named to the Best XI are first-time selections, with Waston and Villa making their second appearances, and Giovinco and Valeri each making their third appearances. All players on the Best XI squad played for teams that qualified for the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.