Weeks after signing David Villa, New York City FC announced the acquisition of England and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard on a free transfer. The move that was highly-anticipated was finalized when the 36-year-old signed a two year contract.
“I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world,” Lampard said in a statement. “The passion of the nation’s fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City – I just can’t wait to get started and be part of it.”
He continued: “It is going to be an exhilarating opportunity for us all to create this fantastic new MLS club, in a league that is growing quickly in popularity and ability. Hopefully my experience can help us have an impact in my first season. I love a challenge and being competitive and I know everyone at New York City FC does too. I am sure we will make the city and our fans proud.”
NYCFC’s sporting director Claudio Reyna was delighted that Lampard chose to join the expansion club.
“I am delighted Frank has joined us, he was an obvious choice,” Reyna said. “I have played against him many times and can vouch for his quality. Frank is one of the best midfielders to have played the modern game, a legend in England and hopefully he will become one here, too.”
After spending 13 years with Chelsea, Lampard announced that he would not be returning to the North London outfit. During his time at Stamford Bridge, Lampard was one of the Blues’ most prominent players. The balmy midfielder was one of the higher echelons at Chelsea because of his experience, perseverance and knack for scoring big goals.
Despite being a midfielder, he is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with an astonishing 211 goals. He won three English Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two Football League Cups, one Europa League trophy and he helped Chelsea win its first UEFA Champions League trophy in 2012.
Before he moved to Chelsea in 2001, Lampard began his illustrious career at West Ham United in 1995, when his father was an assistant coach and his uncle, Harry Redknapp, was head coach. He was very successful in his six seasons with the Hammers.
Lampard has also represented his country since 1999. His ranks sixth in caps, 106, and ninth in goals scored, 29.
With that kind of resume, NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis’ excitement shouldn’t surprise anyone.
“I am really looking forward to working with Frank,” Kreis said. “His leadership, maturity and experience are perfect characteristics for a new Club like ours. He is a rare talent, one that scores a lot of goals from midfield, yet is also a disciplined defender and someone who reads the game brilliantly. A gift for a coach.”
Lampard is the fourth player to join the new club after Villa, Jeb Brovsky and Josh Saunders signed not too long ago. Just like his new teammates, Lampard will mostly be loaned out in order to stay in shape for the 2015 season. His destination is still unknown.
For more rumors, news and opinion, check out our Soccer page.