After coming on as a second-half sub to spark the team, David Villa did not talk to the media after the NYCFC win. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
BRONX — Despite scoring his team-high eighth goal in New York City FC’s 3-1 loss at the Houston Dynamo last week, David Villa found himself on the bench for Saturday’s home match against Orlando City SC.
Head coach Patrick Vieira indicated that this star striker and team captain wasn’t happy with starting the game at Yankee Stadium on the bench.
Villa replaced Jo Inge Berget in the 65th minute and sparked the team to a pair of second-half goals in a 3-0 win.
“A top player will never accept to be on the bench that is why he has had the career he’s had,” Vieira said. “I have good relationship with David we talk a lot and as a coach I have to think about the team first before I think about the individual.
“It’s a tough decision but this is part of my job and David, Maxime [Chanot, defender] and all the players who are on the bench are not happy to be on the bench and I would be upset if I find out that players are on the bench are happy, so this is what I want. I want them to get frustrated when they don’t play, to come in the next day and show their frustration and work even harder and this is how the team will do well. This is what I want you to understand, we will win as a team and we will lose as a team.”
Villa did not make himself available for comment after the game. It was not the first time he has avoided talking to the media after a game.
Vieira decided to start Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Jesus Medina up front. Tajouri-Shradi tallied twice, Medina played well and Berget struggled.
“What I wanted to see today was the different combination of players up front, I wanted to see the relationship between Jo, Ismael, Jesus,” the coach said. “I know that David is a top player I know what I can get from him so just for this game I wanted to try some things and there was some good and some bad but at the end I think when you have quality players that we have up front it allows me to play and make some tough decisions and this is part of my job and it’s not easy. It’s not easy to leave David out today, it wasn’t easy to leave Ismael, Jesus and Maxi and the players have to get used to it because I will rotate the players.”
If there is a silver lining to the Villa bench, it will mean the 2010 World Cup winner will be fresh for Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.