David Villa's Amazing Goal Leads New York City FC Past Philadelphia Union, 2-0 (Highlights)
Apr 14, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York City FC forward David Villa (second from left) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the second half against the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium. New York City FC defeated Philadelphia 2-0. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC shuts out the Philadelphia Union as MLS MVP David Villa scores the goal of the season from far, far, far out.

New York City Football Club used second-half goals from Jack Harrison and David Villa to upend the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Friday Night. The win was the club’s third on the young season and its first away from home.

Harrison’s neat finish in the 51st minute gave City a 1-0 lead in a game that, as seems to be the norm this season, they were in control of. It was Harrison’s second strike of the season.

A 90th-minute wonder goal from David Villa — more on that later — sealed the points and put NYCFC, temporarily, at the top of the Western Conference, although many of the chasing pack have a game or two in hand.

Here are five takeaways from the victory:

At Last, an Away Victory

NYCFC started the season on the road with two straight losses, 1-0 to Orlando and 2-1 to DC United. While the season is still young, NYCFC looked flustered in both road defeats, ruing missed chances and unforced errors en route to two losses in games that, in all fairness, they dominated.

Not this time. Despite a cagey opening 20 minutes, in which the Union seemed the better side, NYCFC weathered the storm and made it to the locker room level. It took NYCFC almost an hour to get the breakthrough, but once they did, they seemed in control. NYCFC outshot Philadelphia 16-11 and had seven shots on target compared to the hosts’ two.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was deserved, and at last, NYCFC have an away victory.

Stick With This Defense, Patrick

After making an unforced error that led to DC United’s opening goal, Frederic Brillant was dropped from the starting XI, replaced by Ethan White, a decision that seemed to pay dividends.

The backline of Ronald Matarrita, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot and Ethan White is unbeaten. The two games in which that back four didn’t start, against Orlando and DC United, NYCFC ended up losing.

While this isn’t the sole reason, the fact of the matter is this is the back four that started in both games in which NYCFC kept clean sheets (home vs. DC United was the other). Clearly, this backline is playing at a high level, and they should continue to start until a change must be made. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Passing Was as Crisp as Ever

NYCFC have out-possessed their opponents in every match this season, and Friday was no exception. City held 56 percent of the possession and had a very impressive 82 percent pass accuracy. In total, NYCFC completed a whopping 497 short passes, which was over 100 more than the 383 that the Union mustered. The Union attempted 69 long balls to NYCFC’s 62, which suggests that despite being more ambitious, the Union had less to show for it.

Jack Harrison Was Terrific

NYCFC.com’s Man of the Match was Jack Harrison. So was WhoScored.com’s. Harrison was superlative on the night, despite being substituted.

Harrison not only broke the deadlock with a neat finish, but he also was heavily involved in link-up play with his teammates. He went on several amazing runs through the Union defense and was able to shed tackles with ease. Overall, Harrison’s display was everything you want out of an inverted winger — cutting onto his left foot, connecting with teammates, and finding the back of the net.

David Villa Scored the Goal of the Season

We’ll let these three tweets tell the rest of the story:

Up Next

NYCFC look for revenge for their opening day defeat as they play host to Orlando City SC, who are currently also jostling for position at the top of the Eastern Conference. The game will take place next Sunday, Apr. 23, and kick off will be at 1:30 p.m. ET.


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Staff Writer at Elite Sports New York. Lead Writer at New York Sports Hub and My Weekly Sports. Twitter, instagram: @skylardarel. Avid fan of the Yankees, Knicks, Giants, New York City FC, FC Barcelona, and Arsenal FC. Sophomore at the College of New Jersey, studying Communication. Aspiring play-by-play commentator. Grew up in Manhattan, and proud to know how to work the Subway system.