|David Villa Day ceremony - USA Today Sports.|
New York City Football Club captain David Villa was honored for his 400th career goal before Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium, and he followed that up with two goals to lead them to a 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
Villa's family was on hand for the ceremony, along with NYCFC President Jon Patricof and Sporting Director Claudio Reyna.
Representatives from the City of New York gave David a Proclamation from the City marking May 19th, 2018 as “David Villa Day” in New York City.
The 400 goal plateau includes Villa's goals for his country Spain and clubs including NYCFC, Barcelona, and Valencia, and fans held up jerseys for each of his teams and the goals he scored for each of them. (pictured below)
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“Well first of all, thank you to everybody on this special day for me," Villa said. "I want to start with thanking the fans because unfortunately the weather wasn’t that great today but they still came and that’s fantastic even on a cold rainy day like today they still came to support not just me on this day to celebrate my 400 goals but to support the team as well. It was not just an important day for me, but for the club as well, and it ended well for us."
|NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna presenting Villa with a "400" jersey. Provided by NYCFC.|
Also in attendance to cheer on David were Vincent Kompany, the captain of Manchester City, the parent club of NYCFC and champions of the English Premier League.
Villa's 400th goal came at Yankee Stadium on April 29 against FC Dallas, the first of a pair of goals that night. He followed that up with #402 last Sunday at Los Angeles FC.
On Saturday afternoon, in the 22nd minute, NYCFC took advantage of a bad clear by Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard, as got it to Maxi Moralez, who fed it to Villa, and he buried it to make it 1-0.
In the second half, 49th minute, Ronald Matarrita was in the right place at the right time to receive the deflection from a Jo Inge Berget shot off Howard, and fire it in to make it 2-0 NYCFC. It was Matarrita's first goal of the season.
Shortly after, in the 56th minute, Villa was making a move at the top of the box when he was taken down, but he already pushed the ball ahead to Moralez, who fired a rocket that froze Howard, who watched helplessly as it went by, and NYCFC had a commanding 3-0 edge. Villa was credited with the assist on Moralez's fifth goal of the season.
In the 74th, Rodney Wallace set up Villa down the left side, and he buried it for his second goal of the day, Number 404 of his career, seventh of the season, to make it and a 4-0 NYCFC.
Villa said of the game, “Well I think we started playing well from the beginning. We trained all week and prepared differently from what we’ve been doing all season for this game. Its important to have different tactics because teams know how we play and prepare well defensively for us. Today we played with a different system, maybe in the first half it took us a little longer to move the ball but we changed that in the second half. We were able to move the ball much quicker from one side to the other and we were able to find the spaces we needed and with the quality we have on this team we’re able to score goals and do things well.”
|David Villa making a move in the first half. USA Today Sports.|
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of Villa continuing to play at a high level, “I think you have to give credit to the players around him. I think he performed well, he didn’t play at his best today but still scored two goals because of the players around work hard and work well. I think we have a system that allows him to express himself, we have players around who work hard to try to help him to express himself and of course when you put it all together I think that that allows him to show his talent. Even when he will be 45 and you put him on front of goal he will continue to keep scoring goals because of the quality, he is a goal scorer. I think what is really important is to create a system and the system that we have fits his talents really well and we have players around him that don’t get much credit, but they are working really hard to allow him and the players around to express their talent. I think all the credit goes to the team and of course to him because you have to need to finish those chances, but I’m not surprised. He’s been doing it since he was fifteen years old so he knows how to score goals, he’s so calm in front of the goal he’s so composed and he knows where the goal is.”
NYCFC is now 5-0-0 at Yankee Stadium this season, and they improved their overall record to 7-3-2, with 24 points, just one point behind Atlanta for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. That is subject to change, as Atlanta's game this weekend is against the Red Bulls on Sunday night.