David Villa

Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

2016 MLS MVP David Villa done at NYCFC

Leave a comment

David Villa’s memorable stint at New York City FC has come to its conclusion, though reports say he has no plans to hang up his boots just yet.

Villa leaves the MLS side having scored 80 goals and added 21 assists, and does not leave with a whimper; The 36-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 23  regular season appearances in 2018, adding a goal in three playoff games.

[ MORE: Fire re-signs Schweinsteiger ]

Villa made 126 appearances for NYCFC, the second-most with a club in his career (Valencia, 219). He was the 2016 MLS MVP and a four-time All Star, using his time at NYCFC to earn a recall to the Spanish national team in 2017.

He thanked everyone at NYCFC from top-to-bottom. From NYCFC.com:

“Thank you to the people in the offices, the people working with the team and the coaches and staff. Thank you to my teammates – without them it would have been impossible to be successful. Thank you to the people working in the media that always gave me the respect and the love.

“My experience here was amazing. It gave me everything as a soccer player, as a person, and as a family man. I’ll always remember this experience with love. My heart is here and I’m an NYCFC supporter forever.”

NYCFC waltzes past Philadelphia in playoff opener (video)

AP Photo/Noah K. Murray
Leave a comment

Single-elimination games on the tiny pitch at Yankee Stadium is a difficult way to conclude a season, and the Philadelphia Union will be bitter about the end to its campaign following a 3-1 loss to New York City FC in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

[ MORE: MLS MVP’s 5 finalists ]

The stars were out for the East’s No. 3 seed as Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, David Villa, and Maxi Moralez all scored for NYCFC, who will meet No. 2 seed Atlanta United in the conference semifinals.

Cory Burke scored for Philadelphia who lost in the same building by the same score for the second time in four days.

Tajouri-Shradi’s goal was the pick of the bunch, hit with vigor to open the scoring.

Nine-man NYCFC gets derby draw vs. RBNY

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

New York City FC’s Third Rail is going to come up with some terrific chants after their nine-men side held the New York Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw in the Hudson River Derby on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

Bradley Wright-Phillips put the Red Bulls in front, and NYCFC went down to 10 men within minutes of the opener. They’d be down to nine by the end of the game when Ebenezer Okori joined debutant Eloi Amagat in being sent off the pitch by referee Ted Unkel.

[ MORE: Bundesliga season preview ]

“I don’t want to talk any rubbish,” Wright-Phillips said on FS1 after the game. “Credit to New York City. It’s embarrassing. They’re down to nine men and we created nothing.”

Making his NYCFC debut, longtime Girona midfielder Amagat was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Marc Rzatkowski.

David Villa leveled the score line at 1, but looked in big trouble when Ebenezer Okori was show a 74th minute red card for a clumsy challenge on Wright-Phillips.

Report: David Villa’s NYCFC tenure will end this season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to a report by Spanish outlet AS, NYCFC is not planning to renew David Villa’s contract at the end of this season.

Villa has become one of the most decorated Designated Players in Major League Soccer history since arriving in 2014, scoring 74 goals over the course of his NYCFC career. Villa won the 2016 MLS MVP and finished one goal behind Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips in the scoring rankings that season. He then came up two goals short of the 2017 Golden Boot order behind Nemanja Nikolic.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League Week 2 picks ]

The report states that, at 36 years old, Villa could potentially contemplate retirement at the end of the season, having already hung up his international boots four years ago just two caps shy of the 100 mark. According to the report, NYCFC could potentially offer him a front office role, either as a coach or executive.

Villa has missed some time this season due to injury, with knee problems sidelining him for three matches early in the campaign and a knee injury troubling him of late, but he played 71 minutes last weekend against Toronto and scored the opening goal, and is apparently good to go this weekend against Philadelphia. Despite the injuries, Villa is still second on NYCFC in scoring with nine goals, one behind Ismael Tajouri-Shradi for the team lead.

The Spaniard’s career has seen him win titles at the highest level, with a Euro 2008 victory, a World Cup title in 2010, a Champions League victory in 2010/11 with Barcelona, and La Liga championships with both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

NYCFC hold off 10-man TFC to make Shield race even tighter

Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

The game in 200 words (or less): In a battle of two teams chock-full of stars, the marquee names made the greatest impact — for better and for worse — in a battle of Eastern Conference titans on Sunday. New York City FC topped Toronto FC, 3-2 at Yankee Stadium, on the back of goals scored by established superstar David Villa and rapidly rising star Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (twice). On the other side, Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez got the goals for TFC, but it was another of the Reds’ highly paid stars, Jozy Altidore, who will go down as the goat for his 11th-minute red card. Altidore, seemingly frustrated after Alexander Callens won a midfield battle between the two players, kicked out at the NYCFC defender with the ball already out of play. Referee Chico Grajeda made the only correct decision, showing Altidore the red card for violent conduct. NYCFC’s victory returns them to level footing (47 points) with the New York Red Bulls (though, still behind on tiebreakers) for second place in the East, one point back of first-place Atlanta United. TFC, the defending champions with largely the exact same roster as last season, sit ninth, now seven points back of the sixth and final playoff place after Montreal and Philadelphia picked up points on Saturday.

[ VIDEO: USMNT’s Weah scores first Ligue 1 goal in goofy fashion ]

Three Four moments that mattered

11′ — Altidore’s petulance earns him an early shower — Frustrations are becoming very, very visible in Toronto.

15′ — Villa makes it 1-0 minutes later — It doesn’t matter if Anton Tinnerholm hit his shot 90 degrees into the wrong direction (he was still credited with the assist), because Villa clean up the mess and go it alone.

27′ — Giovinco finishes some slick build-up for 1-1 — Up a man or down a man, it doesn’t really affect the brilliance that is Sebastian Giovinco. Michael Bradley and Vazquez weren’t bad in quickly progressing the ball either, and the Atomic Ant made a pretty difficult finish look easy.

[ MORE: Austin MLS stadium vote delayed until next week ]

88′ — Tajouri-Shradi smashes a volley for the winner — From nothing, to something, very quickly.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi

Goalscorers: Villa (15′), Giovinco (27′), Tajouri-Shradi (36′, 88′), Vazquez (51′)