Throughout the franchise’s short history, New York City FC’s successes have been tied to the play of David Villa. Currently sitting in first place, the second-year club is surging, with the Spanish star leading the charge in a major way.
As league play heats up as August nears, NYCFC finds themselves top of the Eastern Conference. The play of Villa has been all but vital to that achievement, as the Spanish star has contributed 13 goals and an assist in 21 games played. Villa’s haul is good for tops in the league in goalscoring, with the former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid star sitting two ahead of the next best finisher.
Yet, Villa’s true contributions cannot be measured by mere numbers. Since his signing, Villa has proven to be the ideal Designated Player. His tireless work rate and consistent leadership have kept NYCFC afloat from the beginning and, with pieces around him starting to come into form, Villa has proven the perfect leader to buoy NYCFC’s push towards the postseason.
Both on the field and off of it, Villa has proven irreplaceable to NYCFC, earning the Spaniard honors as SBI MLS Midseason MVP.
Here’s a closer look at the entire list of candidates, as voted on by the SBI Editorial Staff:
2. IGNACIO PIATTI
Sitting just behind Villa on the goalscoring chart, Ignacio Piatti has continued his rise throughout 2016. The Montreal Impact player has style and skills to match any player in the league, as evidenced by his 11 goals and three assists. He may be overshadowed by Didier Drogba at times, but the Argentine star has proven to be the best player of the Impact’s rise through the East.
3. MAURO DIAZ
FC Dallas remains the league’s most exciting team, and Mauro Diaz is all but certainly the club’s most exciting player. In leading FC Dallas to the top of the league table, Diaz has amassed nine assists to go with his three goals. When on their game, FC Dallas is exhilarating, and it is Diaz that pulls the strings each week.
4. SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO
The league’s reigning MVP hasn’t quite matched the production of his historic 2015, but Sebastian Giovinco has certainly retained his status as one of the league’s best. The Italian star has netted eight goals while also contributing seven assists, while tying Villa for the league lead in shots taken. In total, Giovinco has contributed to 15 of Toronto FC’s 21 goals, a staggering amount even for a player of Giovinco’s caliber.
5. DIEGO VALERI
After a slow start, the Portland Timbers are surging, with Diego Valeri leading the charge. The third Argentinian playmaker on the list, Valeri’s haul of nine goals and five assists represent an impressive mark. With the Timbers enjoying their best form of the year, Valeri will continue to prove vital down the stretch as the reigning champions push for a repeat.
What do you think of SBI’s choice? Which player has stood out to you as MLS Midseason MVP?
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