New York City FC is expected to make a splash in MLS, and it has certainly done so with its first player signing.
NYCFC announced the signing of Spain and former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward David Villa Monday, confirming reports over the last few days and inking the 32-year-old World Cup-winning striker to a three-year deal.
Villa, who made Vicente del Bosque's 23-man World Cup roster and will represent La Furia Roja this summer as the nation attempts to repeat as World Cup champion, helped Atletico Madrid to a stunning run to the La Liga championship and a runner-up place in the UEFA Champions League.
“David Villa is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished soccer players and best strikers in the world,” NYCFC manager Jason Kreis said in a club 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 scored 15 goals in all competitions in 2013-14, and he will wear the No. 7 shirt for NYCFC, which begins play next season and will make Yankee Stadium its temporary home while a permanent stadium solution is sought.
“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.