Last week, we had a sneaking suspicion.
Hudson River Blue has learned that David Villa will be named MLS MVP, per a well-positioned source. #NYCFC— #VillaMaravilla (@hudsonriverblue) December 1, 2016
And today, divine soccering providence smiled down on all of us. New York City FC star man David Villa has won the 2016 Landon Donovan Major League Soccer MVP trophy.
The typical media scrum was on hand at Spring Studios in Tribeca, joined by a crew of NYCFC fans from the Third Rail Supporters Club, Villa’s family and friends, and a cadre of proud teammates: Tommy McNamara, Khiry Shelton, Mikey Lopez, Ethan White, Jack Harrison, and Ronald Matarrita.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber kicked off the proceedings, and left no question as to whether the league was pleased with City Football Group’s move to bring Villa to the U.S.
A congratulatory video rolled right before Villa was to make his gracious remarks. A who’s-who of global stars heaped praise on el Guaje for this latest virtuoso achievement, including former club teammates Xavi, Juanfran, Diego Godin, Gabi, and Koke, as well as fellow Spanish National Team players Juan Mata and Pepe Reina. Also delivering a kind message was Landon Donovan — in Spanish, of course — the MLS legend for whom the shiny trophy is named.
Villa, who turned 35 on Saturday, beat out New York Red Bulls stars Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips for the award. On Monday, all three players were named to Major League Soccer’s annual Best XI.
For New York City FC, the future is bright and the cupboard is anything but bare. It stands to be a busy offseason for manager Patrick Vieira, sporting director Claudio Reyna, and chief scout David Lee, who have already signed one new player to the NYCFC ranks, FC Cincinnati attacking man Sean Okoli.
But until it’s time to make 2017 predictions and hit the training pitch out in Arizona for the preseason Desert Diamond Cup, let’s not forget to pay earnest praise to the breathtaking skill and relentless, selfless devotion of Mr. David Villa.
Here’s to hoping that the Guaje stays in the picture for a while longer.