David Villa reminded everyone why he was the 2016 MLS MVP. (James Lang/USA TODAY Sports)
CHESTER, Pa. — Superlatives were flowing in the New York City FC locker room Friday night in the wake of David Villa’s golazo in the closing minutes of the 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
Coaches and teammates were using the words such as fantastic, incredible and one of the best to describe his 53.5-yard chip shot of the golazo he tallied in the 90th minute to close out the Major League Soccer match at Talen Energy Stadium. It is the longest goal ever scored in Major League Soccer since date has been kept by ESPN.
“At first I did not know if the ball was inside or outside, so when I realized that the ball was in the back of the net, it was fantastic,” head coach Patrick Vieira said. “It was a good finish, and I think it takes a special player to score a special goal.”
That special player was David Villa, the Spanish international striker and 2010 World Cup champion who demonstrated why he was voted MLS MVP last year.
“It is one of the best goals that I have ever seen in my career,” said midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who has seen many a spectacular and beautiful goal. “When David scored one goal like that, it’s incredible, because now it is the best in the history of the club.”
If not the league.
MLS has been around for 22 years.
Unless someone scores off a 60-yard chip shot Saturday, Villa’s golazo should be voted MLS goal of the week.
Of course, Villa’s goal goes beyond the league in which he plays.
“I think it’s there with the best one,” Vieira said. “If you look at the period of the game where everyone is tired and has heavy legs, and to have the eye to see the goal forward and to execute the technical side of the volley was fantastic. “t’s good because that second goal was very important, and of course it was one of the best goals I have ever seen.”
Striker Jack Harrison, who scored City’s first goal in the 52nd minute, watched Villa perform his magic from the bench after he was subbed.
“I had a feeling [it was going in],” he said. “I looked at it and then we all stood up on the bench and it went in. It’s just incredible.”
Asked if he ever seen a goal such as that, the 20-year-old English forward replied with a laugh: “Only watching TV. No, not live or anything, so it was incredible to see that.”
Villa? He was just happy to make his teammates happy.
“The people is happy,” he said. “Everybody told me congratulations. We are happy because the moment of the goal was good for the team. We wanted to win the game, we were 1-0, but in some situations the other team can score, and with this goal, the game was won.”