NYCFC vs Red Bulls: Villa vs. Wright-Phillips
Villa vs. Wright-Phillips: Top goal scorers square off in New York Derby Saturday
Over the past three-plus seasons, two players who have combined for 130 regular-season goals will take the pitch against one another Saturday afternoon.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, New York City FC forward David Villa (67 goals) and New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips (63 goals) rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in goal scoring since the start of the 2015 season – Villa’s and NYCFC’s first MLS campaign. They will be the clear focal points when they square off at Red Bull Arena.
How to Watch: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC – Saturday, May 5 (1:55 p.m. ET) – ESPN / ESPN Deportes
MLS TOP REGULAR-SEASON GOAL SCORERS
David Villa, NYCFC
Bradley Wright-Phillips, NYRB
Sebastian Giovinco, TOR
Kei Kamara, VAN
Ignacio Piatti, MTL
Wright-Phillips is the MLS record holder for most goals over a four-season span, tallying 85 goals from 2014-17. He also has feasted against NYCFC’s defense, posting an impressive 10 goals and one assist in nine matches during the regular season. In the six matches in which Wright-Phillips has scored a goal in this series, the Red Bulls hold a 5-1-0 record.
Spanish legend Villa is making a run at Wright-Phillips’ consecutive four-year goal-scoring record. Villa’s 67 goals since 2015 have been accrued with 25 regular-season games remaining in 2018. He already ranks No. 4 on this list. In the New York Derby, Villa has tallied four goals and an assist in nine games. Villa did not record a goal or an assist in the first four games of the series (NYCFC went 0-4-0 during this span), but in the five games since, NYCFC has posted a 3-1-1 record, highlighted by Villa’s first MLS hat trick on Aug. 6, 2017, for a 3-2 victory. The Red Bulls lead the all-time series 5-3-1.
NYCFC’s Villa blazing into rivalry after 400th finish
After NYCFC captain David Villa surpassed the 400-goal mark for club and country last week, all eyes will be on the Spanish superstar for an encore performance on May 5 against crosstown rivals the New York Red Bulls. As Spain’s all-time leading scorer, a World Cup Champion, and the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, Villa’s illustrious career has made regular waves on a global soccer scene, charting 11 professional seasons with 20 or more goals, and among only Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Spain/Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona), and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/LA Galaxy) as current players with 400 combined finishes.
Villa was NYFC’s first signing in club history. He became the first MLS player to post consecutive 20-goal campaigns with 22 scored in 2016 and 23 in 2017, and the club has a 32-11-9 record when Villa has found the back of the net.