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David Villa and NYC eyeing MLS glory

Captain David Villa and New York City are dreaming of silverware, as the star-studded high flyers bid to hoist the MLS Cup aloft for the first time.

In their second season since joining MLS, expansion franchise New York are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference as they sit atop the table.

With former France, Arsenal, Manchester City, Inter and Juventus midfielder Patrick Vieira at the helm, New York – spearheaded by Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo – have already bettered last season’s points total (37) with 38 after just 25 matches, as the play-offs loom.

After a topsy-turvy 2015 campaign, the World Cup, European Championship, Champions League and La Liga winner Villa told Omnisport it is an exciting time to be involved with New York in the Big Apple.

“The feelings are good. We are better this year. Obviously we are happy with the work so far,” the 34-year-old said in the interview.

“We will try in the next games to be good for the run in to the end of the season and finish in a good position.

“We are a young team – but in this league you always have a chance of winning the league. We are good now – we are dreaming of trophies of course.

“Most important for us is to go game by game for this next moment and to stay in the play-off spots – then after we make it – fight for the trophy.”

Of Vieira, who arrived from Manchester City’s Elite Development squad as a replacement for Jason Kreis at Yankee Stadium in November, Villa added: “He’s a great coach. He loves soccer. He loves working day by day to make the team better. I am happy to be working with him in this team.”

Villa, himself, has played another key role for New York this season.

After scoring 18 goals as New York missed the play-offs by 12 points last term, two-time MLS All-Star Villa already has 15 to his name in 2016 following his brace against Columbus Crew last time out – making him joint top goalscorer alongside reigning league MVP Sebastian Giovinco.

“I’m happy so far. We still have games for the regular season. I like to have – to analyse the league when it finishes – my focus for now is to work strong until the last day,” he said.

Former England international Lampard was also on target in the thrilling 3-3 draw in Columbus on Saturday.

Lampard continued his rich vein of form with New York’s opening goal, taking his tally to seven goals in as many games, while he has nine in total.

The 38-year-old has come a long way since injuries derailed his start in New York and made him a target for boo boys in the United States.

“He was working a lot while he was injured. He was hurting a lot because he wanted to be on the pitch,” Villa continued. “But now to have him on the pitch and healthy is amazing for us.”

Mon 15 Aug, 2016
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