David Villa broke the 20-goal barrier for the second consecutive season for NYCFC. (Keith Furman/FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
Reigning Major League Soccer Golden Ball winner David Villa was named MVP of New York City FC, it was announced Friday.
Villa, who scored 22 goals in the regular season, became the first MLS player to register player to register 20 goals in back-to-back seasons. He added two goals in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against Columbus Crew SC, in which City was eliminated from the playoffs.
“No doubt about it, I would vote for David for the MVP this year,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said about his team captain. “He’s been fantastic for the team, for the league, and I think he deserves that award.”
Villa added nine assists, tying him for second on the team with Maxi Moralez.
In other team honors:
* Peruvian center back Alexander Callens was selected as the defensive player of the year. For a good portion of the season, Callens teamed with Luxembourg international Maxime Chanot to form a tough dynamic duo in the middle of defense before the latter was lost for the season due to injury.
Callens played every minute of the regular season before he was red-carded in the first leg of the semifinals and was forced to sit out the second leg.
He started and finished all 34 regular-season games, totaling 3,060 minutes, while scoring twice.
* Finland international Alex Ring was picked as newcomer of the year. Putting his body on the line on many plays, Ring gave the defensive midfield slot a bite with his aggressive and physical play.
Ring played and started in 29 matches. He did not score a score, but registered four assists.