David Villa shares FrontRowSoccer.com player of the week honors with Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips. (Keith Furman/FrontRowSoccer.com)

How appropriate on the week leading up to the first Hudson River Derby in the league this season.

We have a tie for FrontRowSoccer.com player of the week as the staff decided to share the honors between two rival strikers — New York City FC’s David Villa and the Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips.

In 2016, Villa captured the Golden Ball as Major League Soccer’s MVP, while Wright-Phillips earned Golden Boot honors as the league’s leading goal-scorer. The Spanish international finished only a goal behind Wright-Phillips, 24 to 23.

Both players figured prominently and scored both goals in their respective teams’ wins over the weekend.

Villa secured the honor for the third time this Major League Soccer season. For BWP, it was his first such honor in the 2-1 home victory over defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders.

In chronological order:

Villa scored goals Nos. 50 and 51 to become the fifth fastest player to reach that MLS milestone (in 78 games) and the first DP to do so.

Through the years, many foreign players have joined MLS and used it as a retirement league. Villa, on the other hand, has used it as a stage to show that thirtysomething strikers still can strike fear into opposing teams, goalkeepers and defenders.

Perhaps no one appreciates him more than NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira, who, during his playing days had to contend with some of the trickiest playmakers and fiercest goal-scorers on the planet.

“To be honest, I’m not surprised because you have to look at David’s career and what he’s achieved,” Vieira said. “It’s not easy to be the top goal scorer in the Spanish history. It’s not easy to win the Champions League or win the World Cup. The quality is there and it’s always going to be there. He’s really good. He has passion and love for the game.

“In our society, we judge people a bit too early and a bit too quick and we just have to take it case by case and David’s is a positive one for the young players in our club and for the fans. He got rewarded, but what I really like about him is when he’s making it really difficult for the other team because he’s setting an example for the rest of the players.”

His first goal:

David Villa 50th Goal

David Villa Sánchez evens the match from the penalty spot for #Villa50GAME ON IN THE BX!

Posted by New York City FC on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Video courtesy of NYCFC’s Facebook page

His second goal:

 

David Villa Goal #2 vs. Seattle Sounders

Jack Harrison and David Villa Sánchez link up to take the lead in the Bronx!

Posted by New York City FC on Saturday, June 17, 2017

 

Video courtesy of NYCFC’s Facebook page

After enduring a tough afternoon in Chester, Pa., BWP finally found the back of the net during a five-minute span late in the match to turn a scoreless draw into a 2-0 road triumph over the Philadelphia Union Sunday. The result snapped the Red Bulls’ six-game road losing streak.

The English-born striker wasn’t impressed by his overall performance.

“I didn’t do anything, just two tap-ins,” he said. just great play by the wide players, Kemar and Sal.

“It was a bad performance by me generally, but happy to get a win. Terrible performance by me.”

His first goal:

GOAL: BWP's First

Bradley Wright-Phillips' first goal of the day put the New York Red Bulls up 1-0! There was more to come…

Posted by New York Red Bulls on Monday, June 19, 2017

 

Video courtesy of Red Bulls’ Facebook page

 

His second goal:

 

GOAL: BWP's Second

Bradley Wright-Phillips completes his brace and leads the New York Red Bulls to three points on the road

Posted by New York Red Bulls on Monday, June 19, 2017

Video courtesy of Red Bulls’ Facebook page

The Red Bulls and NYCFC will tussle at Red Bull Arena Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the first of three MLS meetings between the two sides.

The New Jersey-based team eliminated NYCFC from the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup behind a 1-0 win at RBA last Wednesday.

FrontRowSoccer.com player of the week winners

Week 1 (March 6) — Joseph Bendik (Orlando City SC)

Week 2 (March 13) — David Villa (New York City FC)

Week 3 (March 20) — Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)

Week 4 (March 27) — Vincent Bezecourt (New York Red Bulls II)

Week 5 (April 3) — Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC)

Week 6 (April 10) — Jimmy Maurer (New York Cosmos)

Week 7 (April 17) — Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls)

Week 8 (April 24) — Alex Muyl (New York Red Bulls)

Week 9 (May 1) — Jack Harrison (New York City FC)

Week 10 (May 8) — Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)

Week 11 (May 15) — Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC)

Week 12 (May 22) — David Villa (New York City FC)

Week 13 (May 29) — Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls)

Week 14 (June 5) — Alex Callens and Maxime Chanot (New York City FC)

Week 15 (June 12) — No award given

Week 16 (June 19) — David Villa (New York City FC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)