David Villa to play on loan in A-League before NYCFC expansion season
Prior to joining New York City FC for its expansion MLS season, David Villa will get a taste of the A-League.
Villa is going to play on loan with Melbourne City -- like NYCFC, also owned by Manchester City -- between October and December as he prepares for his foray into MLS, NYCFC announced. Villa will go up against the likes of a number of players whom he will be trying to defeat this summer, when Spain takes on Australia in Group B play at the World Cup. Villa, 32, has already announced that this World Cup will be his final international involvement with Spain. He helped La Furia Roja to a world title in South Africa in 2010.
Considering the MLS season won't begin until March, Villa would have been eyeing a massive layoff after the World Cup had he not secured a loan move in the interim. That the move stays in-house with NYCFC's ownership group adds even more logic to the transaction, as he'll surely be deployed wisely with an eye on the bigger picture. Villa is coming off a season in which he scored 15 goals in all competitions for Atletico Madrid, the Spanish league champion and Champions League runner-up.
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl previews Group B for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and picks his teams and players to watch once play begins.