David Villa has been named Major League Soccer MVP for 2016, beating the competition of Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls, and Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco.
The Villa, which has won the World Cup with Spain in 2010, has scored 23 goals in his second season in New York, one behind Wright-Phillips a total of 24. He has also helped to NYC FC qualify for the playoffs for the first time.
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“I am very proud to represent the NYC FC, and to receive this award,” Villa said. “This is a great day for me as it is one of the things that I said that I wanted to do when I came here two years ago. It is an important day in my career, this is an important time for me. This prize rewards the best player of this extraordinary league that has a lot of quality players, so it is a very happy and proud day for me.”
The award was voted on by the league, management team, media, and current MLS players. Villa, 35, has received an average of close to 26% of the vote. Golden Boot winner Wright-Phillips was close to 19.3%, with Kljestan receipt of 17.6.
Villa has scored 18 goals in 2015, its first season in the united states, and its two years out of a total of 41 represented the most in the MLS in this period.
Carlos Valderrama was the first winner of the MVP award of the MLS in 1996, and the other winners have included Taylor Twellman (2005), Marco Etcheverry (1998), and the former Everton before Preki (1997 & 2003). Giovinco, who won the award last year, finished fourth in the voting this time around – although he was linked with Villa and Wright-Phillips in the media vote.