David Villa may have the toughest job in MLS.
That sounds like a hot take if there ever was one, but here's my case: He's a superstar, meant to be one of three on one of the highest profile teams in the league. But one of those three stars, Frank Lampard, hasn't set foot on the field yet this year and the other, Andrea Pirlo, plays but is clearly not capable of carrying a team at this point.
Villa, on the other hand, does look up for it, only for his spectacular shots to clang off the crossbar and bounce off replacement-level teammates and go out for goal kicks. The man is ready to score all the goals New York City FC needs, if only he gets the support to actually do his dang job.
Until last week, Villa's industry and skill were being utterly wasted by NYCFC, who look like they're going to struggle through another season. But things finally clicked on Saturday in a wild 3-2 win over Vancouver at Yankee Stadium, and Villa's efforts were rewarded. He grabbed two goals (one absolutely breathtaking via side volley), three points and SB Nation's MLS Player of the Week honors for Week 9.
Villa was a comfortable winner, but rounding out the podium for the week were a goalkeeper(!), Portland's Jake Gleeson and New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who continues to put in good performances, with the important distinction his team is now winning games.
Full results for Week 9, with first-place votes getting three points, second-place votes receiving two points and third-place votes earning a point each:
And here are the full ballots for Week 9:
|Rob Usry (Dirty South Soccer)||Jake Gleeson||David Villa||Diego Valeri|
|Mitchell Tierney (Waking the Red)||Jake Gleeson||David Villa||Diego Valeri|
|Eugene Rupinski (Brotherly Game)||Diego Valeri||Simon Dawkins||Shkelzen Gashi|
|Austin Fido (Once a Metro)||Lloyd Sam||David Villa||Chris Duvall|
|Jake Catanese (The Bent Musket)||Jake Gleeson||Sacha Kljestan||David Villa|
|Drew Epperley (Big D Soccer)||David Villa||Diego Valeri||Shkelzen Gashi|
|Kartik Krishnaiyer (Bitter and Blue)||Sacha Kljestan||Lee Nguyen||Jake Gleeson|
|Sean Steffen (LAG Confidential)||Jake Gleeson||Diego Valeri||Sacha Kljestan|
|Michael Citro (The Mane Land)||Diego Valeri||Felipe Martins||David Villa|
|Weston Jenson (RSL Soapbox)||Nick Rimando||Sacha Kljestan||David Villa|
|John Rosch (Burgundy Wave)||David Villa||Shkelzen Gashi||Marvell Wynne|
|Dave Clark (Sounder at Heart)||Nick Rimando||Sacha Kljestan||Zach Scott|
|Jason Anderson (Black and Red United)||David Villa||Osvaldo Alonso||Javier Morales|
|Alicia Rodriguez (The Goat Parade)||David Villa||Sacha Kljestan||Jake Gleeson|
|Alicia Tolar (Dynamo Theory)||David Villa||Sacha Kljestan||Nick Rimando|