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3 things we learned from New York City FC’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire

Thoughts on a big day in the Bronx

MLS: Chicago Fire at New York City FC Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jonathan Lewis is the real deal.

Similarly to Jack Harrison, Jonathan Lewis entered the MLS SuperDraft draft following a very successful freshman college season. Ironically enough, Chicago chose Jack in 2016 before handing the English Messi over to New York City. This year, NYCFC took no chances and traded for Chicago’s third overall draft pick and chose Lewis. Since then, NYCFC supporters have been waiting for a Jack Harrison-esque breakthrough from the Akron standout. Saturday was the day. Patrick Vieira gave Lewis his first New York City start and he repaid the manager with 72 very impressive minutes, which included a fantastic assist to our captain, David Villa. Lewis made runs off of the ball that would have you thinking he’s been playing at the top level for a decade. With all the injuries NYCFC have suffered in recent weeks, now is the time for Jonathan Lewis.

2. David Villa is a hero and should be respected as such.

Your 2016 MLS MVP proved exactly why he earned the award last season and could be on his way to back-to-back trophies. Scoring goals is awesome, especially when that’s what you’re being paid to do. Leading your club to success and teaching all the young talent around you is also a positive. However, how many strikers, especially at the age of 35, are running 30 yards to block a cross in their own third? David Villa was willing to do whatever it took to see his club go home with three points on Saturday. After scoring the opener to give his side the lead, he continued to fight for the rest of the game. By the end of the game he had his hands on his knees completely out of breath. The captain was eventually taken off in the 90th minute, which resulted in him giving Jack Harrison the armband (I really wanted to put this in here somewhere) and welcoming Kwame Awuah on the pitch for a few minutes.

3. This team has fight.

Anybody who supports any club for long enough is eventually going to ask themselves “Do my club’s players really care?” Fortunately, NYCFC supporters don’t have to ask themselves that anytime soon. After not being rewarded a penalty earlier in the match, Yangel Herrera was sent off the pitch in the twelfth minute. The blue side of New York were forced to play down a man for 78 minutes against the league’s top scorer and the second-best team in MLS, at least according to the standings. This was sure to get ugly for NYCFC, right? Wrong. Goals by David Villa and Frederic Brillant gave us a 2-0 lead early in the second half before a flukey (or so I like to think) goal from David Accam brought Chicago back within one. Every single player on the pitch fought for each other and held on to all three points. Having watched every NYCFC game, I can’t think of a performance better than today to prove that these boys will do whatever it takes to win.