David Villa scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season and New York City FC beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Friday night to take the Eastern Conference lead.
Jack Harrison played the corner short to Andrea Pirlo in the 52nd minute. Villa blocked Pirlo's cross toward the goal line and followed it for a narrow-angle finish through the legs of Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Villa nearly added a second in the 58th minute with a bending shot off the post. He completed the task in the 91st with a rising blast from the top of the box that moved him ahead of Bradley Wright-Phillips in the MLS Golden Boot race.
City (14-9-9) moved two points ahead of Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference standings. Houston (7-12-11) remained last in the West.
© 2016 by STATS and Associated Press.