One of the most decorated players in soccer history collected another accolade on Tuesday as David Villa was named the 2016 MLS MVP.
The New York City FC captain and striker tallied 23 goals and four assists in 33 games this season and garnered 25.9 percent of the average vote compiled from players, media and clubs. Villa edged out New York Red Bulls teammates Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan, who came in second and third with 19.32 percent and 17.63 percent, respectively.
Villa, who just turned 35 on Dec. 3, helped NYCFC finish second in the Eastern Conference for its first-ever postseason berth. He had six multi-goal games, finishing second to Wright-Phillips’ 24 in the Golden Boot race and was responsible for 44 percent of City’s league-best 62 scores this season.
“I’m very proud to represent NYCFC and to receive this award,” Villa said. “It’s a big day for me because this is one of the things I said I wanted to do when I came here two years ago.”
Since joining NYCFC in 2015, the all-time leading scorer for the Spain national team has tallied the most goals in MLS during that span with 41. Villa also became the first FIFA World Cup winner and the first Spaniard to win the MLS MVP award.
“This is an important day in my career – this is an important moment for me,” Villa said. “This award is for the best player in this amazing league which has many quality players so this is a very happy and proud day for me.”