Photo by Ben Queenborough/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
New York City FC have signed their second Designated Player, and he is well-known player still capable of making an impact.
NYC FC announced on Thursday at a formal press conference in Brooklyn that they have signed free agent midfielder Frank Lampard. The 36-year-old Englishman is on a two-year deal that starts on Aug. 1.
Lampard is now the fourth player on the expansion club’s roster, joining fellow DP David Villa, defender Jeb Brovsky and goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
“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,” said Lampard in a statement released by the club. “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.
“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.”
An English international with 106 caps to his name and who just finished playing in the World Cup, Lampard joins NYC FC after 13 strong seasons at Chelsea. He won the Premier League title with the Blues three times, the FA Cup four times, the UEFA Champions League in 2011-12 and the UEFA Europa League in 2012-13.
Lampard is a decorated player for his ability on the field and leadership off of it. He has served as captain for both Chelsea and England throughout his career and has also won several individual awards, including Premier League Player of the Season and FA Cup Best Player.
“I am really looking forward to working with Frank,” said NYC FC head coach Jason Kreis in the same statement. “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.
“Frank has a tremendous appetite for the game and that will be an enormous help not only to me and the coaching staff but also the rest of the players, particularly the younger ones who can look up to Frank and attempt to emulate his achievements. He has just come from the World Cup and still very much at the top of his game. His desire and work ethic will be infectious.”
Lampard is indeed a proven goal-scorer. He has netted 29 times for England and is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 tallies.
“I am delighted Frank has joined us, he was an obvious choice,” said NYC FC sporting director Claudio Reyna. “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.”
What do you think of NYC FC signing Lampard as their second DP? Think he will shine in MLS? Wishing the club would have gone in a younger direction?
Share your thoughts below.