New York stood tall during the month of May.
Both of the city’s clubs captured the attention of the entire league at different points over the last month, with NYCFC surging to the top of the Eastern Conference before the Red Bulls thrashed the second-year club 7-0 at Yankee Stadium on May 21.
Several players from both sides of the Hudson River rivalry stood out this month, and three – the Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan and NYCFC’s David Villa – are represented among the five nominees for Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month.
The MLSsoccer.com editorial staff selects the five final nominees at the end of each month. The winner is then determined by your vote, with voting for the May award open until 2:59 a.m. ET on Friday.
Here are the nominees:
- Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls: The league’s top assist man was at his creative best in May, tallying five assists in five matches to take his season total to 10. As hot as Kljestan was in May, his Red Bulls ended the month even hotter, rifling off three-straight wins by an 11-0 margin to climb up the East standings.
- Ignacio Piatti, Montreal Impact: The Impact had a bit of down month, but that was no fault of Piatti’s. The Argentine attacker tallied four goals and one assist in four matches in May, and grabbed one of each in Montreal’s dramatic 3-2 win against LA on Saturday.
- Zac MacMath, Colorado Rapids: Who needs Tim Howard? The Rapids interim backstop continued his fine season ahead of Howard’s July arrival, conceding just twice in five starts and posting a league-best 86.67 save percentage to lead first-place Colorado to a 3-0-2 record in May.
- David Villa, New York City FC: It wasn’t always pretty for NYCFC and the star Spanish striker, but Villa did rack up the stats. The Designated Player bagged four goals in three starts to help NYCFC to a respectable (even with that loss) 2-1-2 May record.
- Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls: BWP is back. After starting the season with a seven-game goalless skid, Wright-Phillips found his form in May, scoring six goals – including two against NYCFC and a hat trick against Toronto – and notching two assists to help the surging Red Bulls to a 3-1-1 month.
Etihad Airways Player of the Month (May 2016)Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month