David Villa leads MLS with 17 goals. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
NEW YORK – After what he accomplished against the Red Bulls, it should come as no surprise that David Villa was named Major League Soccer player of the week by the North American Soccer Reporters Tuesday.
The New York City FC captain recorded his first MLS hat trick in 3-2 victory in the Hudson River Derby at Yankee Stadium Sunday.
Villa also was named FrontRowSoccer.com player of the week Monday.
The 2010 World Cup champion sits atop the Golden Boot standings with 17 goals to go along with his seven assists this season. With a league-leading 24 combined goals and assists, Villa has helped City to third place in the Eastern Conference standings (12-7-4, 40 points).
Spain’s all-time leading scorer put NYCFC on the board in the 28th minute when a deflection put Villa through with no defenders in front of him, as he rounded the keeper and calmly slotted a left-footed shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
After the Red Bulls grabbed a 2-1 lead, Villa dazzled to find the equalizer in the 72nd minute. After picking up the ball at midfield, Villa dribbled through a crowd of defenders in the box and blasted a rocket near post past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Villa, the 2016 MLS MVP, drew a penalty minutes later, finishing with a right-footed strike from the spot to give NYCFC a 3-2 lead in the 75th minute.
NYCFC visits the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center Saturday (11 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes).
The MLS player of the week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.