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Villa leads the way in Audi Player Index

Five Aside
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

David Villa helping New York City FC's 'important' Jack Harrison mature

Philadelphia's slow start to the season continued as NYCFC grabbed the away win, highlighted by a David Villa wonder goal.

Jack Harrison has credited his New York City FC teammate David Villa for helping him grow as a player and the second-year midfielder's teammates and manager are taking notice.

Harrison, 20, scored his second goal of the season in his team's 2-0 win against the Philadelphia Union on Friday night -- a match Villa capped with a 50-yard wonder goal as time was running down.

And the England-born Harrison said it's nice to have such world-class talent to watch and learn from in training and in games, although he's not sure about trying his luck on a Villa-style golazo from midfield just yet.

"He's always looking to help others out," Harrison told MLSSoccer.com. "Just watching him, you learn so much. I feel like I've done that already last year, and I'm hoping to keep improving.

"It was good to get another goal. I feel like I've definitely been better in front of goal the past couple of games. And it was nice to finally get one today."

Of the Villa goal, he said: "No, I've never tried that. That's what the world-class players do."

Harrison action vs Union 170414
Jack Harrison scored his second goal of the 2017 MLS season in a 2-0 win against the Union.

Harrison's maturation hasn't escaped the eye of manager Patrick Vieira, either, with the former France international saying he was happy to see him get on the scoresheet again.

"I'm really glad for him -- not just about the game tonight but all the games that we've played so far," Vieira said. "He's been working really hard. At D.C. [last week], he was working as a right-back in a moment and never complained. When he scored today, I was really pleased for him."

And teammate Sean Johnson, who has a front row seat to watch Harrison in the NYCFC goal, said he's seen the youngster growing into his role with the team and becoming an increasingly more important part of its success.

"He's a really talented player," Johnson said. "He's young, he's got good legs, he's very witty, good on the ball. We look to Jack to really create for us. In the system we play, he's very important."

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