David Villa’s teammates were out in force on Tuesday to toast the new MLS MVP.
Jack Harrison, Mikey Lopez, Ronald Matarrita, Tommy McNamara, Khiry Shelton and Ethan White were among those present in Tribeca to celebrate with the league’s best player.
Matarrita told NYCFC.com: “David is an incredible player and our leader.
“I’m so happy that he’s won the MVP award. Every day he teaches us with so much humility considering everything he has won.”
Harrison echoed those sentiments, expressing his delight for one of his mentors.
Harrison said: “It’s an incredible honor and I’m so happy for him.
“He’s been amazing this season and he’s been an inspiration to all of us – he’s such a great leader.”
Shelton is another young player who is looking to one day emulate David’s achievements in MLS.
Khiry believes that David’s success in landing this title is a landmark moment in the young history of the club.
He reflected: “It’s a very big moment for him and for the club because he represents us so well.
“It was good to be here to see this. As a young player, you’re here and you want to be up there some day to collect such a prestigious award. We’re all so happy for him.”
Villa beat Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan to the award, topping a vote of players, journalists and coaches.
McNamara feels as though the 35-year old was the only choice considering his conduct both on and off the field – characteristics that inspire Tommy day in, day out.
McNamara declared: “It’s well deserved – congratulations to him.
“We’re proud of him – I’m lucky enough to get to see what he does every day on and off the field and my experience of that has tells me just how well deserved this award is.
“He’s done so much for this club and there’s more to come next year!”
Ethan White was present in a dual role: celebrating with David, as well as documenting the day with his camera for NYCFC.com.
The defender added: “His love for the sport is clear – he won’t play unless he can give it his all. He’s a happy go lucky guy but he takes the sport seriously which is huge and that’s why he wins awards like this.
“His commitment to bringing the sport on here in this country is clear – it’s no vacation for him – he’s not here to collect checks, he wants to score goals, he wants to bring on the young players and he wants us to be successful.
“He’s absolutely the right person to win this award.”