David Villa is getting the help for NYCFC and that is part of the reason this team continues to have an impact in their first first nine games. The reigning MVP of the MSL signed a contract extension this past Wednesday and for every reason coach Patrick Vieira knows how important that is.
Villa missed last Saturday’s match against Columbus due to illness and the team had to comeback and win. This is an impact player and once again the statement was made early in the NYCFC 3-1 win over Atlanta FC Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Attack was the plan and Villa did his job.
“I think David is an important player for us,” Vieira commented. “And when he plays the way he played today lifting the team, he is one of our leaders. When he plays like he did today the confidence builds in the team and that’s why it’s important for him to be at this level every single game.”
And it’s not only Villa. It seems this could be the year for a team that started to make their statement with a brief playoff run last season that ended with a semifinal conference loss in the Bronx. But the additions were made and it makes Villa better, especially when NYCFC is on the attack.
“It’s good for the team,” said Vieira. “And I think when you have a really good structure and you have people around working hard that really expresses talent.”
And it is playing well with newcomer Rodney Wallace. The forward is part of this structure that has added another dimension to the NYCFC offense. The two exchanged passes early and Villa got his sixth goal of the season pass the net and the 47th goal of his career with New York.
That attack is the other dimension that has fans of NYCFC excited and 25,000 plus in the Bronx on Family Day know that Villa is the leader.
They cheer every moment Villa takes the field and there is no telling how far this combination will take this deep into the season. But for now, Vieira is seeing something special and with three games in the span of the next eight days it will be important for Villa and company to continue their surge of goals.
And that is what is making NYCFC so different this season. It’s Villa, Wallace, and company. Ethan White had an important assist and Maxi Moralez scored his second goal for the team. NYCFC entered the game as a top five team in scoring among teams in the Eastern Conference.
Said Vieira about Wallace: “I think he showed how strong he is in his mind because he covered a lot of ground and he’s always at the right place to score goals or help the team. His work ethic is fantastic. When you look at his career he won the title in this country. He went abroad….had a tough time. He believed in himself and kept working hard in training.”
And to the credit of Wallace, he has worked hard. Villa realizes the importance of his sidekick on the same field as they clicked immediately and the results are evident as NYCFC right now believes they can be competitive and take this to another level as they climbed to third place in their division. Villa also said this was a team effort and the attack continued in the second half.
“We had a lot of energy in the second half because we deserved it more,” he said. “And the performance of the second half was perfect from the start, so it’s a good start for the team.” Besides, the fact this has been an overall good start for NYCFC that does not have another home game in the Bronx until the end of this month and Villa’s teammates say they are amazed every time his push to the net ends in a goal.
Wallace said about his goal, “I was in the box. My job was to get in the box and make something happen. David tried getting a touch on it, the ball got to me and it went into the back of the net.” A goal that ignited NYCFC and again they capitalized by continuing the attack.
Something says this will be a continuing trend in the next week and maybe beyond before NYCFC returns to the Bronx where this team appears to be unstoppable with David Villa and company.