New York City FC Designated Player David Villa is settling into life in New York City.
He’s taking English classes and watching plenty of MLS games to prepare for NYCFC’s inaugural season. And even though he said it’s been a bit more of a difficult transition for his kids, he said he’s “lucky to be moving to one of the best cities in the world.”
"Every game that's on, I try to watch it depending on the kick-off times," Villa told media at Wednesday's unveiling of the new MLS brand and logo at the Skylight Modern in downtown New York City. "And I’d like to start going to the stadiums as well. As I get settled into the city, I’ll have more time to go to attend matches.”
However, he's set to be away from New York for a time, as Villa will leave the city for a quick loan spell for the fall and winter with Melbourne City FC in the Australian A-League, which kicks off Oct. 10.
"I don't know if it's official, but it will be next month," said Villa.
And as the MLS season hits it’s the final stretch, Villa also shared his thoughts on what team stands head and shoulders above the rest.
"I’ve seen many matches," he said. "Looking at the standings, I think this year Seattle are above the rest by a lot not only in points, but also in their play. The Galaxy have improved a lot in recent months and are close. And then Red Bulls … they’re winning games and are in the running to qualify for the playoffs."
It's the playoff format that has particularly piqued Villa's interest. He feels it’s a system that other leagues around the world should seek to adopt.
"The format is very competitive, and it's a format the European leagues should look at," Villa told MLSsoccer.com. "The race for the playoffs and then to play in the playoffs to determine the champions – for me, playing my whole life in Europe, I haven’t had a league like this. It makes it very competitive and interesting from the beginning to the end.
"In a European league today, the seventh-place team after 25 games can’t aspire to win the league because you can’t," Villa continued. "And here the seventh-place team can still get in the playoffs and dream of winning the league. It’s very competitive and attractive in the way it goes about crowning its champion."
New York City FC fans will hope Villa gets the chance to taste the playoffs in his 2015 debut MLS season. But the first step will be the unveiling of the club jerseys for their expansion season, which MLS officials revealed will take place in November.