The Hudson River Derby is coming to Yankee Stadium this weekend, and people are already talking about the big matchup with our foes from Jersey.
AM New York wrote about what it means to folks from both sides of the Hudson, and even Red Bulls fans can't deny just how Blue New York is.
“When NYCFC came, it expanded right into the city,” said Bronx native and current Perth Amboy, New Jersey, resident Michael Hansen, a Red Bull supporter. “I feel like a lot of those people in the five boroughs never had an actual connection until now.”
If you just haven't gotten your fill of Hudson River Derby appetizers yet, you've just gotta check these out:
And if you want an in-depth look back at our first big Derby win, check this out.
In other news, David Villa is extremely good at soccer. For that reason, he's stealing the headlines yet again.
With MLS All-Star season in full swing, ESPN FC has listed their picks for the top 30 players in the league. Who was #1? David Villa, that's who.
Here's their explanation: "There's always a bit of skepticism when a designated player arrives. Will he care? Will he be worth the money? Villa has answered in the affirmative on both counts, with his goals, passion and professionalism making him a beloved figure among the NYCFC faithful and driving the Blues into Supporters' Shield contention."
Oh, he cares, alright.
After naming him the best player in MLS, ESPN FC went on a deeper dive into what makes him so awesome. After speaking with Villa's current teammates, his coach Patrick Vieira, and NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, Noah Davis summed it up as, "Unmatched effort and supernatural ability."
He explains further: "Two and a half years later, it's clear they made a good choice. Villa has managed 55 goals in just 83 games, including some stunners, and a rare match goes by when he's not one of the best players on the field. He's rapidly rising on the ranking of all-time best designated player signings, arguably behind only Robbie Keane and his deformed cartwheels at this point."
Do... do you deduct points for the bad cartwheels?
Noah Davis was at it again elsewhere on ESPN FC, this time writing up a feature about Patrick Vieira's journey from player to coach. In it, Vieira says he was surprised by how fond he was of coaching when he first started. As it turns out, he's pretty good at it, and NYCFC are reaping the rewards.
Asked whether he would like to coach himself, Vieira had this to say: "I'd love to have a player like myself, the way I used to be," he says. "I always played with a lot of passion and was working hard for my teammates. I was thinking about my teammates before I was thinking about myself. So yes, I would like to coach Patrick."
That would definitely be something NYCFC fans would like to see. Vieira expanded on this and other topics surrounding his transition from player to coach in a sit-down with ESPN's Taylor Twellman. Check it out here.
Over on MLSsoccer.com's Top 50 fantasy rankings, there's a familiar face at the very top. SPOILER ALERT: It's David Villa.
The reason why?
"While some may disagree, David Villa still tops my list. He’s surrounded by players who always give him opportunities for a big game and he rarely scores low two rounds in a row," writes Reid Connelly. He's right. NYCFC are very good at bouncing back after tough results, and Villa is a big reason why.
Believe it or not, this wasn't the last list Villa topped this week. Over on Fox Sports, they put together a highlight reel of the top five goals scored by MLS All-Stars this year, and Villa was yet again #1.
Can you guess which of his goals it was?
And if this all hasn't been enough, These Football Times gushed over Villa's consistent evolution as a player in their recent profile of his career.
Here's the final graf of that piece by Justin Sherman: "No matter the shirt that garnished his back, David Villa has always brought a pride on the pitch that could never be extinguished. Recognition of his individual brilliance wasn’t always prompt or genuine or admirable or satisfying, but did it ever really matter? So close to living a real life nightmare in that hospital bed all those years ago in Tullia, he hasn’t stopped dreaming since."
Finally, MLSsoccer.com's All-Star coverage is ramping up ahead of the main event, so they asked some players how excited they are to be playing with David Villa instead of against him. Hint: Pretty excited.
Here's what FC Dallas and US National Team midfielder Kellyn Acosta had to say: “They’re just quality players; if you give them an inch of space they’ll kill you,” Dallas' Kellyn Acosta said. “They’re guys that can finish with both feet, they’re definitely clinical, they’ve played at the highest level. … They just have that extra instinct, that quality in front of goal that anything bounces, it usually goes their way.
“Definitely hate playing against them, but playing with them is going to be cool.”