NYCFC make Villa first-ever signing

DavidVillaNYCFC1 (NYCFC)

By DAN KARELL

New York City FC made a big splash when they hired Jason Kreis to be their first head coach, and they did the same on Monday when they announced their first player signing.

After days of reports and rumors out of Spain, NYC FC completed the signing of Spanish international forward David Villa on a three-year contract. The 32-year-old Villa is a veteran of La Liga, having played with Sporting Gijon, Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid in addition to starring with the Spanish National Team.

Villa will wear the No. 7 shirt in New York that he’s worn throughout most of his career. While the team didn’t announce it, it’s a safe bet that Villa will join NYC FC as a Designated Player.

“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 in a statement. “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 is coming off an incredible dream season with Atletico Madrid, helping lead the club to their first La Liga title in 18 years and taking the club all the way to the UEFA Champions League final.

“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” Kreis said in the statement. “I couldn’t be happier that we have acquired such an amazing talent as our first-ever signing. David will be a shining example of what it will mean to be a New York City player and a leader for us on and off the field.

“He is hard working, he is a natural competitor, he is a winner at heart, and he is a terrific man. David has checked every box for what we were looking for in our first signing and it is a great day to be a member of this growing family of a club.”

Villa announced on Sunday that he was leaving Atletico Madrid and photographs emerged from England showing Villa at Manchester City’s training complex, reportedly undergoing tests prior to signing with partnered club NYC FC. Villa moved to Atletico Madrid last summer in a deal that included a 50 percent sell-on fee for Barcelona if Villa moved to another club.

“This is a historic and exciting moment for the City family and the building of New York City Football Club,” Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano said. “I know David really well; he is one of the best footballers in the world, a true winner and in an outstanding moment of his career. I’m sure New Yorkers will enjoy watching him play for their city.”

Villa is currently in Spain’s final World Cup squad and will be heading to Brazil after a brief stay in the U.S. for pre-World Cup training.

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114 Responses to NYCFC make Villa first-ever signing

  1. Ian says:

    Wow. Well freakin’ done, NYCFC.

    • Bigmomma says:

      Is he throwing out the Yankees’ first pitch tonight or tomorrow? Thats the only way to welcome him. I’m presuming this is already scheduled. They should definately do it before Lampard arrives. You dont want to extend the same offer to Lamps. The NY press would have a field day with that.

  2. Increase says:

    I like this signing. I don’t much care for Lampard and I hope he gets a 1 year contract. Dude is old but then again… he is a free agent. Make it 2 years.

    • SAO says:

      Do people not remember that Lampard mocked American tourists in a London in the wake of 9/11? He was kicked out of a hotel, fined, and suspended over his disgusting and disturbing behavior. No way ANY New York team should be signing this guy and handing his career a lucrative life line. Frankly no American team should do it.

      • DB says:

        PSY openly mocked and spoke ill of America in the past, and we still put him in pistachio commercials and watched his video a billion times…not sure most people care…

        • Mason says:

          Korea has a complicated relationship with the US in general and the US Armed Forces in particular.

        • Joamiq says:

          Those were two very different situations. Psy protested US military action. Lampard made fun of people dying.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Two questions, Joamiq:

            1) Was Psy drunk when he protested?

            2) Are you sure that Lampard “made fun of people dying”? My understanding is that he made fun of people being stuck in an airport.

      • Ian says:

        Lampard was 23 years old then. I’ll bet you never said or did anything stupid when you were 23, huh?

        • Patrick2 says:

          “Lampard was 23 years old then. I’ll bet you never said or did anything stupid when you were 23, huh?”

          …but Lampard is a VERY brainy dude…his scores on intelligence tests are supposed to be pretty damn high….”I was young and ignorant” doesn’t work for him as well as it would for other ballers.

          On the other hand if anything I find I have to engage and try to clear up misconceptions that very educated Europeans and Australians have about the US, because the pick them up from leftyish educations…and sometimes they have legitimate complaints.

          If I was an MLS manager I WOULD sign him. I wouldn’t expect every foreigner to have always been “pro-US”…and I’d want to get his side of the story (It’s possible the American tourists, in the heat of the moment and understandably distraught may have said something nasty to him)…but I’d have a looong chat with him first, and I would make it clear that it would have to be the FIRST thing he’d address at the first press event.

        • SAO says:

          There is a difference between saying something stupid and mocking a massive tragedy that took the death of over 3,000 people. No, I have never even come close to doing something like that. Everyone who witnessed it said it was appalling.

          • Tru Dat says:

            You mean “nearly 3,000 people”.

          • Ian says:

            I don’t know what Lampard supposedly said, but I’m sure it wasn’t, “I am so happy 9/11 happened.” It was probably a failed joke or something overblown in the heat of the moment.

            Like I implied before, we’ve all said and done stupid things without an ounce of intended malice. I’d like to see the quote before I make a judgement that “no team in the US should sign him.”

          • Ian says:

            Per the article linked below: “Four Chelsea footballers have been fined by their club for drunkenly abusing grieving Americans…”

            I am not excusing the abuse, but at the most, we can say Lampard is a mean drunk. You really cannot judge a person by what he says while intoxicated. If we did that, we’d all be guilty.

            • Teetotaller says:

              Well, not all of us.

            • Joamiq says:

              If that’s the kind of drunk he is, then he’s negligent for drinking in the first place. And no, we don’t all mock massive tragedies while intoxicated.

              • Ian says:

                Your selective reading comprehension leaves much to be desired. “You really cannot judge a person by what he says while intoxicated. If we did that, we’d all be guilty.”

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                “then he’s negligent”

                He *is* or he *was* negligent? Remember: over 10 years ago. How many drunken tragedy-mockings has Lampard engaged in since?

      • Chris Anthony says:

        I agree 100%. That’s the number 1 reason why I have never liked Lampard.

      • Increase says:

        I was commenting on his ability to play the game but whatever…

      • beto says:

        +1 don’t waste $ on Lampard

      • cabrito says:

        I’m pretty sure that it was that POS John Terry that mocked 9/11.

    • Matthew R says:

      I thought it was John Terry who mocked the US after 9/11

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        It was a group of 4 Chelsea players, not just Terry and Lampard, on a bender in a Heathrow area hotel, teasing American tourists about being stuck in England after 9/11.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Addendum: “It was a group of 4 Chelsea players [plus however much alcohol they had consumed]….”

          News flash: all drunks are obnoxious.

          At least they didn’t tweet their insults….

  3. Shark says:

    MLS players on both the Spanish and Brazilian World Cup squads, who would’ve thought that a few years ago?

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Almost like Garber’s plan is on track. The trolls told me that wouldn’t be the case ?

  4. Jay Boca says:

    Is Manchester City and all their money really a good thing to have in MLS?

    If they just dominate the league with high priced foreign players that won’t be fun.

    • choto says:

      They will not dominate…. MLS salary structure will allow a team some fantastic players, but it will even out somewhat with the rest of the player on the field.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        They will be in the top tier with teams like LA and NYRB that can actually spend to the DP and cap limits. They routinely make the playoffs, but the current DP numbers (3) are such that you can’t buy trophies, although if you have a sharp personnel coach like Arena you can get close (some people can do better picking supporting personnel than others, ahem, Lalas).

        Now if there was a dramatic increase in cap (a few million bucks) and DP exceptions (5+), then a team like City could start buying success.

        • Jacknut says:

          Toronto is in that category as well, just sayin….

          • Gerald says:

            Toronto has to 1st make the playoffs to be in that category

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Well, LA was once a bad team despite Beckham and the Beckham rule. The rules plus cash will buy you a roster but your results owe to who you pick, how many miles they have on them, the team you put around them, whether the organization is liked by the players, etc.

            But it is a head start. FWIW, this could (or could not) be the season TFC breaks through. I think Defoe, Bradley, and JC are a more serious personnel effort than the lesser lights that have preceded them.

    • Scott e Dio93 says:

      High price foreigners brings fans to stadiums, higher ratings, more amazing plays, more jerseys, and bring International attention to MLS. I rather have “fun” time watching these high price foreiners do amazing things than watch lifeless Fire.

      • michael f. sbi mafia original says:

        They don’t have a stadium. Yankee sStadium is not a soccer specific stadium and is a terrible experience to see a game. Regardless what Reyna and Ferran tell us.

        • JayAre says:

          At least it will be better than what DC United play in.

        • don Lamb says:

          It’s all about the players and the teams. If you want to stay away because you don’t like the stadium, so be it. There will be plenty of others there to make it a great atmosphere. This is on track to being a big success.

        • Scott e Dio93 says:

          real estate in NYC hard to get, but at least this owner will spend on his team.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Sustainability. NASL once had Beckenbauer and Pele and such, but if you send your way into the red, the bankruptcy courts will be the end result of all the fun. Teams need to be financially sound and able to keep trucking year after year.

        • iggy says:

          Except when owners are so incredibly filthy rich they dont care when they lose huge sums of money, because to them it’s not a lot.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            You’re assuming they never run out of oil, have to cut back, or get bored. Setting aside civil discord in a period when the Middle East has been in a period of upheaval.

        • cabrito says:

          Except that the NASL was run, and its teams owned by non-soccer people who were only in it to make a quick buck.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I have to ask, do you know anything about the strucutre of MLS?

    • g-dub says:

      They only get 3 DPs like everybody else

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Today they do. Bears reminding that they fashioned a rule to get Beckham into the league — one DP — which is now up to three.

    • Patrick2 says:

      I doubt that Manchester City will: “just dominate the league with high priced foreign players”, they DO need a few high profile signings to garner attention in the brutally competitive NYC entertaining market, but after that, this is supposed to be a place they can send talented youngsters to play and gear up for the ManCity 1st team. It will put them in a situation where they have to balance big city pressures and temptations, and competition wise, while the MLS may or may not be as good as the English second tier (“Championship”), it IS better than League one or League two where they might have a shot at setting up a reserve team (and even at that, I don’t know if a reserve team might have to work its way up from even lower divisions?).

      MLS is supposed to be better than the A- League where they partner up with the Melbourne Heart. I know that they also have a team set up with Nissan in the J-League….and while I don’t know how good the J-League is (considering how much the Japan National team has improved the answer may be “not bad at all”), MLS has more potential, and NYC is a “relatively” short flight from the UK.

      …soo…I figure more than likely what you’ll see with foreign players will be a few David Villa type “anchor” signings, with a smattering of talented ManCity prospects. After that I’m sure Jason Kreis will want to develop his own pipeline of homegrown players.

  5. choto says:

    And here we go!! Cool to see NYCFC begin to put the team together.

  6. JayAre says:

    Nice move. I can’t wait for the stadium

  7. michael f. sbi mafia original says:

    I guess it’s good. But he is 32 and his production is down. It still seems to be an end of career destination which is fine, it takes time. I just don’t think this is a Beckham-like (in terms of marketing) or talent-rich signing like if they had signed a Neymar or a real up and comer.

    • ChiTownFire says:

      He’s come in at the same age as Beckham, 32.

    • JayAre says:

      Henry came to MLS at 33 and he’s still productive.

      • Chris2 says:

        To my eyes Henry has slowed considerably. He still has bursts, but mostly he just strolls around the park. The bursts get fewer and fewer . . .

        • Ian says:

          He has certainly slowed, but he’s also 36, going on 37 this year. David Villa is 32. There’s a considerable difference between 32 and 36, especially in soccer.

    • slowleftarm says:

      He’s on the downside of his career but it’s not a total retirement move by any stretch. He’s with Spain at the World Cup so he’s still really good. And while I’m no fan of this club, Villa is a good signing for the league.

      Improvement is incremental – MLS used to get guys who were really on their last legs, and one day hopefully soon, they’ll be signing top players in their prime. I know people will bring up Champions League but it there’s enough money on offer, I think guys will still come here.

      • Cosmosfan says:

        Word is Man City USA broke the MLS DP salary record to sign him, as it was the only way he would leave La Liga and CL behind.

      • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

        I hadn’t thought about it that way. Very good points,
        from everyone. Thank you. And for the guy above who points out Villa and Becks are/were 32, that wasn’t my point. It was about marketing $$$$.

    • Gary Page says:

      Anybody who is good enough to make the Spanish national team is an upgrade for MLS. Haven’t you been paying attention? Villa is still a force and probably has at least 2 good years left, maybe more.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      He had double digit goals in La Liga. I am more worried about durability and age itself than production, which I think is in line with a player like Henry coming in.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Dinner party trivia: 8 of 15 top scorers in MLS this season are over 30-years old.

      • Gio says:

        Ibrahimovic is the same age and look what he is doing in france. David Villa takes good care of his body just like Zlatan. Anyone who thinks he isnt still a top class player is out of their minds.

  8. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Whine of the day:

    Just once, someone please don’t include, I want to help the league grow.
    Just say I want to win MLS Cup. That is all.

    • Brain Guy says:

      Agree. It strikes me as patronizing. You will help the league grow, it’s true, but mentioning it is unnecessary.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      A whine from Quit whining. I love it!

    • LImey says:

      Maybe he does want to help the league grow. One way to do that would be to eliminate the MLS Cup and have a League Champion like the rest of the world.

      • Gerald says:

        Eliminate MLS CUP. yeah I don’t see that one happening. Playoffs mean extra money for teams

      • Mason says:

        By, “the rest of the world,” you mean, “Europe”, right? Because a whole host of countries in the Americas run Apertura-Clausura schedules, many with some form of playoff.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        ….and there is why I have my title. Thanks Limey

        • LImey says:

          Who whined? I’m excited he’s coming, excited he wants to grow US Soccer, excited that the US is not the only place they have playoffs (who knew) , I’m just a happy, happy dude. #nowhining

  9. g-dub says:

    Anything on the amount of the transfer fee and salary? With the 50 percent sell on to Barca this is going to be a pretty big number. I’m also curious to see where the salary will be relative to Deuce and MB90

    • froboy says:

      What does the 50% sell on have to do with anything? Just means they split whatever the price was with Atleti

      • g-dub says:

        Oh. I was reading it to mean there would be la 50% additional amount going to Barca. Still you’ve got to think that making it worthwhile to Arleti for a sale – when they only see half the fee – drives up the transfer cost somewhat.

        Seriously though, anybody know the cidt of this? Are we talking 2M, 5M, 10M?

        • g-dub says:

          Transfermarket has him valued at 10M euros – but just a ? filled in for the value of the transfer to NYCFC. Of course the details of the deal with these owner are hazy at best.

    • bryan says:

      i don’t believe there is a transfer fee. if there had been, Barca would get 50%. the reason Atleti wanted to off load him is because:

      “in a deal worth an estimated 4.4 million pounds, with over half being paid if Villa remains an Atletico player during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.”

      since he will not be playing with Atleti next season, they don’t have to pay Barca even more money.

      curious to see more info on the financials though.

  10. Yankeedom says:

    Long live NYCFC!

  11. MMV says:

    Wonderful signing. Kudos to NYCFC and MLS for pulling this off. I still can’t believe Villa is 32. Wow. He plays much, much younger and still has plenty left in the tank to compete at a high level. He’s such a technically and tactically gifted player that is just going to improve the players around him. Villa may not be the “big” name the casual soccer fans will easily recognize — a la Beckham — but to the diehards Villa could arguably be the best signing in league history. I’m really excited he’s coming to MLS. I hope fans truly realize this is a big, big deal for the league. Welcome to MLS, David. I wish you all the success. Well……..except against my rapids!

  12. g-dub says:

    MLS is doing some shrewd marketing all geared towards the World Cup cycle when a whole bunch of potential new fans are paying attention. Leading up to the WC:

    1. Bring the 2 biggest USMNT guys back
    2. 3 expansion franchises
    3. David Villa

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Don’t forget Beckham’s miracle stadium buoyed by manatees, built out of crystal, and illuminated by fireflies!

  13. Randsall says:

    I’m concerned for NYRB, can anyone here make a case that they will be able to withstand the arrival of NYCFC? I had the opportunity to see that beautiful stadium of theirs, but I fear it wont be enough given the location and the arrival of NYCFC.

    • Evan says:

      I don’t see it imacting the Red Bulls. Most fans are from Jersey or Staten Island; not too many people from the Bronx go to see the Red Bulls. NYCFC should have its own fan base.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Red Bulls have enough money to compete with this and I’m hoping this will force them to step things up with some new DPs. They’ve had an open DP spot for a year and a half now and Henry’s contract will be up at the end of the year, so they may have another open after the season. Going to be interesting to see who they bring in. Hopefully a DP defender to address the disastrous backline.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      Why…have you seen their ticket sales numbers and general malaise surrounding them? Pretty much everyone that cares two $#!&s about supporting local US domestic pro soccer are doing so, its not like Man City USA is going to miraculously uncover this amazing groundswell of ready and able fans. They will get 10-15K a game tops (which includes MLS’s notorious inflated figures). Hardly anything RB fans or Cosmos fan should be concerned with.

  14. Terrence Osbourne says:

    I always thought the disgusting post-911 comments were made by Mr. Class, John Terry. Do I have that wrong or did both of them open up their pie holes?

    • wood chip zip says:

      They made them together. Just a good night out enjoying themselves.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      It was both. Not surprised Man City USA would sttop to signing Lampard and make him a face of the their farm team franchise here..they are tone deaf in all other respects to that franchise…signing a foreign DP that mocked Americans less than a day after 9/11…that is pretty damn awful.

      • Cosmosfan default settings: NYRB, NYC FC auto-critique says:

        How fortunate for you that NYC FC exists. Now you are not limited to blindly defending cosmos and throwing stones at NYRB. You have upped your potential posts by 33% in having another villain to auto-criticize!

  15. Enos says:

    Great signing. The guy was great in Champion’s League play. He will be great in MLS. Barely in the league and NYCFC already have a better coach and striker than my beloved DCU.

  16. BulletToothTony says:

    Not to be outdone, rumor has it the Cosmos are lining up moves for Brazilian Ronaldo AND Bebeto.

  17. bryan says:

    solid signing, well done NYCFC.

  18. NASL TO EL PASO TX 915 says:

    This is nothing new, we all expect big name DPs and a fancy stadium but I never thought they would go for villa.
    So what does red bull, galaxy or Chicago do now, and the other big n small markets.
    I also remember red bull coach saying, he doesn’t need dps……..or plans to get a new DP. What a funny rookie coach :) look at kreis, taking advantage of the market and cash.
    So who will be next, will galaxy ever get ronaldinho, Lampard, will fire ever make a big move on chicharito or another mexican star. Will AEG ever bring a big DP to Houston, what about dcs new owner.
    Hopefully SBI can provide a list of players who can come to MLS after the World Cup.
    Lampard, chicharito is open, what about tevez, ronaldinho, eto, drogba, casillas, Brazilian Diego,kaka, robinho, debaba, del piero,

  19. Ga1atic0 says:

    Great signing. This will hopefully make other newcomers to the league splash the cash so we have better quality on the field. Now we need to keep the excitement going even after the WC and this is a great start.

  20. beto says:

    Great signing. Looking forward to seeing him in MLS and how they build a team around him.

  21. Go Red Bulls! says:

    hope they explained to him that he will be playing in a baseball stadium in the Bronx for the next 2 years possibly much longer haha
    :-)))

  22. Hoss says:

    Your move Orlando. Kaka perhaps?

  23. grant says:

    Is MLS a retirement league?

    • tom says:

      Are there a lot of older players that want to finish their careers in MLS? Absolutely.
      Is the level of play getting higher and higher in MLS, so therefore these “retirement players” are getting better and better…and coming to MLS closer and closer to their peak? Absolutely.

  24. tom says:

    Can someone confirm the loan rules between Manchester City and NYCFC? My understanding is that there’s something in place to prevent (exaggerated example here…) MCFC from loaning their entire starting lineup to NYCFC for free. Is there a limit on the number of loans that can take place? Is there a minimum percent of the MCFC players’ salary NYCFC has to pay? Is there a limit on the number of loans NYCFC can make to MCFC?
    Thanks in advance for the clarification.

  25. flagermunsen. says:

    The timing might be going in MLS’ favor to pick up some high-level, recognizable players in the 29-32 yo age bracket after WC2014, Euro2016, and WC2018. With growing revenue, very wealthy owners and expansion fees, MLS will be able to afford to add players who have established their own brand identity + the ability and desire to still play at a high level. They will unlikely be able to get Euro players who still want a shot at the WC or dream of a Champions League run. But guys who can still play but do not need one or both of those items (national team slot or CL run) will be in play for MLS during these windows.

    • NASL TO EL PASO TX 915 says:

      Hopefully you are right, since MLS missed on Raul, trezeguet, ronaldinho so far, Owen, riquelme, seedorf, and the list is long.
      But the fact we all know, not all MLS owners know GLOBAL SOCCER like some owners do and some MLS owners just love their cookie stadium and players. Sad but truth, like crew, revolution, rsl, Dallas, San Jose, rapids, union, chivas, :(

  26. Nandez says:

    Henry vs Villa

  27. KingGoogleyEye says:

    That would be a joy to watch (assuming the remainder of the team were descent). Have there been any remotely reliable rumors of Jozy leaving Sunderland?