At the beginning of the season, Tommy McNamara rose up to become a cult hero in no time flat. He laid the groundwork last year with a combination of his hair, style, and fantastic long shot, but he built the rest immediately upon the start of this year. His season-opening goal against Chicago was enough to kick it off and he has continued to lay the bricks of what is shaping up to be a great season.
The recipe at NYCFC is pretty simple – feed David Villa and win. It is a simple recipe that doesn’t always work, but the recipe is made a lot more successful with intelligent players like Tommy. Having won over Vieira with his awareness and intelligence, McNamara has been a mainstay in this NYCFC team and it is so easy to see why.
For starters, while David Villa accounts for six of NYCFC’s goals (all goals, no assists), McNamara is right behind him with two goals and three assists, accounting for five goals.
No one else is close to that. Mix and Khiry Shelton have two goals and four assists split evenly between them, but as of right now, it is the Villa and Tommy Mac show. So much so that we have to start qualifying what McNamara is going as ‘amazing’ just of the quieter variety, as he is not getting as much attention as he once was.
You see, at NYCFC, it is amazing to be consistent. Name me three guys for the team who can claim that. You can’t. Because there are only two – Villa and McNamara. Andrea Pirlo is close, but he still shows a lot of susceptibility playing directly in front of the defense.
In fact, McNamara has risen to match Andrea Pirlo’s pass completion percentage and he is sneaking up on his created chances as well.
What makes McNamara so valuable is that NYCFC know what they are going to get out of him. Sure, he’ll have stinkers like his awful substitute appearance in Philadelphia, but for the most part, he has established himself as a reliable weapon on a team that only has one other such thing. Khiry Shelton may be inching towards that title, but he isn’t there yet.
On a team that is dominated by the star power of David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and the ever-absent Frank Lampard, it is nice to see a 25 year old midfielder from right here in the United States that is capable of propelling this team. The more time he has, the more he will solidify himself in the NYCFC culture.