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It’s official: David Villa is New York City FC’s first player (photo)

Jun 2, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

David Villa bid adieu to Atletico Madrid on Sunday, and said hello to the Big Apple on Monday.

The star Spanish striker, 32, has been announced as the first player in the history of New York City FC, which will not begin play until 2015. Frank Lampard is expected to follow.

It’s a three-year deal for Villa, who scored 13 goals in La Liga this season after spending three seasons with Barcelona (33 goals in 77 matches). He made his hay with Valencia from 2005-10 when he struck 108 times in 166 matches.

From a NYCFC statement:

“Throughout my career, I’ve always tried to keep pushing myself to achieve new targets, and this represents another important goal for me,” Villa said. “I want to try and help MLS continue to grow through playing, working hard, scoring goals and at the same time try to make New York City FC become the best team in the league. It’s a real honor that the people who have formed the club have focused their attention on me. I’m keen to do the best I can, take on board that extra responsibility, and prove my worth by repaying the confidence they have shown in me.”

Villa also has scored 56 times in just under 100 caps for Spain, and will bring his talents to Jason Kreis’ unit. Hopefully he will also bring his vocal capabilities to Yankee Stadium:

  1. afootballblog - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    So sad to see him leave La Liga. But I hope he is a great success in the USA

  2. jeremytwoface - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    This is good for MLS soccer, I just wish that the stars would start coming over here a little younger. Beckham came when he was 32, Henry came when he was 32 and now Villa will be here when he is 32.

    • siris46 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      @jeremy, actually, David Villa will be 33 by the time he plays his first game with NYFC, Thierry made his debut for the Red Bulls 2 weeks before he turned 33.

      I love to see how Villa plays, but he is over the hill in terms of Euro play. He hasnt played a game for the National team in 7 months. Out of the 13 Champions League games Atletico played in, he played in 7 and only started 4. He hardly ever plays a full match (only 7 out of 36 league games).

      Lets face it, he hasnt been the same player since he got injured. This is a guy that was worth $50 Mil in 2010 in the transfer market. His market value in January was less than $10M. Its much less than that now.

    • jdfsquared - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      I think this is just the way it’s going to work in this era. As the TV money creeps up, the older star signings will keep coming, but more importantly there’ll be more money available for mid level and young talent. That in turn will mean better quality of play and a healthier league. And once the league is more firmly established, the younger stars will jump at the chance to play in the US. But now for a while yet.

    • bruiserbrigade - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      Americans just will never care enough about ” soccer” to warrant that. Beckham proved that.

  3. mikeevergreen - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    32 seems to be the age they come over at. Wished it was 29. My Chicago Fire should be scouring Europe for defenders right now. They’re finally up to starting rookies in defense (Chris Ritter) and he needs to be shepherded by someone better than they have now. Pique, perhaps?

  4. drewvt6 - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    What does he do for the next almost a year while NYCFC doesn’t play a game?

    • mdac1012 - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Probably play on loan somewhere.

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