David Villa Striker named MLS player of the year

The Spanish World Cup winner's goals helped take New York to the club's first appearance in the playoffs.

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David Villa of New York City FC poses for a photo with the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP trophy at Spring Studios on December 6, 2016 in New York City play

David Villa of New York City FC poses for a photo with the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP trophy at Spring Studios on December 6, 2016 in New York City

(Getty/AFP)
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Former Spain striker David Villa was named as Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Player on Tuesday in recognition of a prolific season which helped transform New York City FC's fortunes.

The Spanish World Cup winner's goals helped take New York, who finished 17th in their inaugural season, to the club's first appearance in the playoffs.

Villa, 35, scored 23 goals -- the second highest tally in the league -- and contributed four assists.

The former Barcelona star has been the highest scorer in the MLS over the past two seasons along with Bradley Wright-Phillips, with a combined total of 41 goals.

New York Red Bulls forward Wright-Phillips finished second in the voting for the MLS MVP award, with Sacha Kljestan in third place and Italy's Sebastian Giovinco fourth.

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