Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Villa, Giovinco Ready to Put on a Show as Toronto FC Squares off with NYCFC

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Villa, Giovinco Ready to Put on a Show as Toronto FC Squares off with NYCFC

Article excerpt

Villa, Giovinco ready to put on a show

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Toronto FC playmaker Victor Vazquez will have a better appreciation of New York City FC skipper David Villa than most when the two Spaniards take the field Sunday at BMO Field.

Vazquez spent time with Villa at Barcelona and knows firsthand what the 35-year-old forward can do.

"It's always nice to share games, share (time) in the field with a player like Villa. Also like (NYCFC midfielder Andrea) Pirlo," said Vazquez. "Also because I was training with (Villa) a lot in I think it was 2010, 2011 in Barcelona. He's amazing player."

For Vazquez, TFC teammate Sebastian Giovinco (the 2015 MLS MVP) and Villa (MVP in 2016) are the class of Major League Soccer.

"I think both of them are amazing. They score a lot of goals and I'm happy also for (Villa) that he shows he's one of the best strikers in Spain," said Vazquez, no slouch himself with 10 assists to tie for the league lead this season.

"They have the qualities, the skills. They played for (big teams in) Barcelona, for Juventus. They are amazing, and it's a pleasure to play with them and against them," he added.

Villa is a game-changer and the stuff of nightmares for defenders, likely to pop up anywhere, able to feed teammates or score himself in a variety of ways.

"You're absolutely right. But fortunately we have a guy like that on our team as well, who shows up in random spots and can beat you from anywhere," said Toronto defender Eriq Zavaleta, referencing Giovinco.

Villa arrives here on a four-match scoring streak and his 14 goals this season rank second only to Chicago's Nemanja Nikolic (16). Last time out, Villa scored on a spectacular volley in a 2-1 win over the Fire and beat Toronto's Alex Bono with a swerving shot off the side of his boot in a 2-2 tie July 19 at Yankee Stadium.

"He continues to get better, even as he gets older," Zavaleta said.

Villa and Giovinco both arrived in MLS in 2015. Villa's tally now stands at 55 goals and 19 assists in 83 regular-season games while Giovinco has 48 goals and 35 assists in 77 games.

"Both of them can make plays out of nothing," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney. "They're winners in their personalities and the way they approach things. …

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