There’s just something about Viernes de Futbol.
For the second Friday night in a row, David Villa smacked home a pair of goals and led New York City FC to a crucial victory in this back stretch of the regular season. This time, it was the host Houston Dynamo who suffered for it, falling 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The victory was New York City’s first away from home since July 17th, and its first clean sheet since August 20th.
“I strongly believe that we controlled the game,” NYCFC gaffer Patrick Vieira said post-match. “That was a really good team performance away from home.”
A snoozer of a first half gave way to far more sublime kinetics the rest of the way. Both teams spent the first 45 feeling things out a bit too deliberately. The Blues dealt in heavy touches as the Dynamo looked the more coherent side.
But leave it to David Villa, who entered the match one goal back of the MLS Golden Boot lead, to bang out a couple of virtuoso riffs with a sense of timing that would make a supercomputer jealous.
52nd minute, at an impossible angle? Done.
91st minute, with a coffin in search of a nail? Done, and how.
El Guaje’s attacking theatrics mean three more huge points, at least a temporary stay back atop the Eastern Conference table, and — believe it, folks — an outside shot at the Supporters Shield.
I’m not kidding: NYCFC are the first team in the East to surpass 50 points in the table, and just the second in the league at large. On 51, they sit just two behind FC Dallas, who have a game in hand. The odds are decidedly against New York City finishing first in the East, much less winning the dinner plate. But the very fact that they aren’t mathematically eliminated from either through 32 of 34 games is utterly spectacular.
Just think about how you felt watching this team one year ago, what with all those Neds and Kwames hotfooting about.
As long as we’re dreaming like this, I’d like a new copy of FIFA 17, too.