David Villa is one of three players shortlisted for the prestigious Landon Donovan MVP award.
There’s hot competition in the shape of Red Bulls pair Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan but (as you might expect) we’re backing El Guaje all the way!
Here’s five reasons why David should win the title…
A Remarkable Stat…
In his first year in MLS, David’s tally of 18 goals in 30 games was especially impressive for a striker leading the line for an expansion team in their first season of play.
There was absolutely no sign of a sophomore slump in his second season as the Spanish striker netted 23 times in 33 games, firing his team to second place in the Eastern Conference.
In both years, David demonstrated something a little bit different – in the first, he carried great responsibility as he netted 37% of NYCFC’s goals.
In his second, David has enjoyed more support around him and his classy interplay and movement created space for others to shine and yet incredibly, he still netted exactly 37% of NYCFC’s goals... only this time there were 13 more for his teammates to score!
David scored all the way through the 2016 season, proving he’s a player who never goes missing when the pressure is on.
Villa’s longest goalscoring “drought” was three games between March and April when NYCFC drew with Chicago and New England but he was back in with a double against Columbus to end what was a fallow period by his stellar standards.
When NYCFC needed him most, he delivered – as he scored six goals in the final four regular season games to earn his team a first Playoffs spot.
Off the Pitch…
Spain’s record goalscorer doesn’t only make his presence felt on the field, he’s also showed what a great person he is away from the game on countless occasions in 2016.
Don’t just take our word for it… David was shortlisted for the 2016 MLS Work Humanitarian of the Year Award.
His nomination copy on MLSSoccer.com reads: “A consummate leader in all of New York City FC’s community efforts – including the New York City Soccer Initiative that will bring 50 free mini pitches to the Five Boroughs over the next five years.”
Frank Lampard, who is up for the MLS Comeback of the Year award, has played with some of the best strikers to ever take to a soccer field, so he knows a genuine great when he sees one.
The Englishman is in no doubt as to who should take the MLS MVP title…
Lampard told NYCFC.com: “He’s up there with the very best. I’ve played with Drogba, Aguero and David’s up there with them in that company.
“I knew from playing against him when he was at Barcelona and Valencia what a special player he was and I’ve seen it in training here and on the pitch – his hunger for goals is phenomenal.
“It’s a simple answer: David is up there with the very best in the world.”
In His Words…
“I’ve said it many times, I’ve played for a lot of teams and I’ve always felt an enormous responsibility. Even more so now, because they took a step forward with me and gave me this special responsibility.
“Every day I play soccer I feel indebted to my club, and I have to go out there and give the best I have to compensate them for the love they show me.”