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New York City FC add Lampard as Designated Player

Frank Lampard of Chelsea

Photo by Ben Queenborough/


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.


  1. Diskerud had a game-changing performance today with 1, maybe 2 assists after coming on at the half. Rosenborg moves onto the third round of Europa league.

  2. Franky Knuckles Lampard,
    A blue collar player who actually puts the biscuit in the basket from time to time,
    welcome to Dynamite!, New York City Fried Chicken.

    • Once Frank gets a taste of the Kennedy Fried Chicken, they might as well build that stadium in Washington Heights. As I understand, the contract only explicitly forbids White Castle..

  3. If there is anyone who knows how to use MLS as a retirement league (while cashing the pay checks) it is Claudio Reyna. I remember him riding a lot of bench and looking very slow when he was on the field.

    “On January 24, 2007, Reyna signed with New York Red Bulls, however, Reyna was almost constantly bothered by injuries. He only played in twenty-seven games during two years with New York and only six games in 2008 as he rehabilitated a herniated disc. Reyna announced his professional retirement on July 16, 2008.”

    Maybe he is just trying to get his “bros” a final payday.

  4. This has started to look a bit like an urban legend at this point. Maybe FL can set the record straight. This is NY, right? Land of sports journalists not afraid to get down and dirty…at the first possible moment, someone needs to directly ask him about the incident and be willing to engage with him until he offers an explanation or it becomes clear he isn’t going to address it. The latter would be a big mistake on Lampard’s part. If he states something along the lines, “We got drunk and rowdy but we didn’t insult any Americans so F off” that will actually earn him some respect if it is done sincerely. Of course apologizing would too. Silence will kill him on this. Just my two cents.

  5. kind of proves JK’s point that American sports teams overpay for stars.

    This one signing has set back our development by how many years? How far would that $8 mil a year go towards developing youth players?

    THIS ridiculous contract happened because of the salary cap and silly wage structure. MLS is run by NFL goobers.

    • Funny. JKs comment about Kobe’s contract also came into my mind while reading this post.
      I think at this point it is obvious that this is about generating interest and $ales for NYCFC and if Lampard can provide anything on the field then that is just a bonus.

    • “This one signing has set back our development by how many years? How far would that $8 mil a year go towards developing youth players?”

      Zero years. Money is no object to the club’s owners. Their paying eight million to Lampard has no bearing on how much they put into youth development. Eight million isn’t even a drop in the bucket for them.

      “MLS is run by NFL goobers.”

      I’m not a big football fan, but the NFL is far more profitable, and also far more competitive, than any other sports league in the world. (NFL makes about $9 billion per year, while the EPL makes about $4 billion.) So what’s wrong with the way the NFL is run? More to the point, how does that relate to MLS?

      • Lame. Zero props to a person who wastes money because they have it. These aren’t rappers. Show some brains if you want to impress people. Otherewise get an iced out grill and spout nonsense on MTV3.

        Wasteful spending is a sure recipe for failure — it’s the face tattoo of the novice and the fee goes up every time. Look like a sucker and the market will treat you like a sucker. This isn’t their first go-round being punked for wildly out-of-market money and amateurish structuring… and they haven’t even played a game yet. $100 million for a franchise fee before you have secured siting? BWAHHAHAHAHAHA… Chumps. Enjoy the ride and keep that wallet open fellas.

      • Hey, I’m definitely not defending over-the-top spending. It’s the single worse thing about the game. Just pointing out that NYC FC are “haves” in a sport that’s all about haves and have nots. His huge contract will not adversely affect the team in other areas.

  6. Can’t decide if this is a success or another black eye for the Galaxy. They thought they had Lampard locked up two years ago for half this price. Lampard walked away at the last second. Now NYCFC is paying twice as much for a guy two years older. Hmm. At 34 Lampard looked like he still had some tread on the tires. At 36 he’ll be doing the “player-coach” thing and taking his wife shopping a lot.

  7. Is anyone else concerned about letting Frank Lampard and Josh Saunders loose together in New York, where last call is 4AM? At least no one will have to drive. Which is good, because….

    He Drinks!
    He Drives!
    He endangers people’s lives!

    Let the lads be lads.

  8. Lampard was amazing in leading the English national team out of the first round of the last two World Cups….oh, wait.

    Like I said above at $8M a year he better be a MVP canadate or he is just stealing MLS/NYCFC’s money and laughing all the way to the bank.

  9. What most people aren’t realising is what this signing means for the rest of the league. With NYFC making both 3 DP’s with really high wages means that sal cap will increase and by most accounts at least double for teams like NYFC to bring other players around them.

    So with at least a double salary cap teams like Chicago or New England that don’t spend much and really haven’t shown to much in youth set up they will suffer greatly and more then likely be a bottom of the league team with no hope for any future.

    With that i hope MLS really looks into a relegation type system to at least give some excitement to the bottom of the league. Cause with out it we will just have the top 4 teams at the top who spend the money and then the rest of the league that isn’t really playing for much and we will start to see attendance drop.

    • I’m not going to argue for or against pro/rel in the US here but your statement makes no sense. All of Europe has pro/rel and its still just the top 4 teams always at the top with the exception of takeovers by oil barons. How will it somehow have a different effect in the US?

    • As stated above, this basically makes no sense. I am not sure what you are saying really, besides everybody should spend more, which would be great if they could. And if you don’t you can “thrill” fans with a relegation battle, which they would totally pay to sit through for the “reward” of seeing the survival of the club they have vaguely supported for 3.5 years. Perpetuating mediocrity for year has never sold much in America, although I guess we should go ahead and get used to it.

      Some people have a big-time, throbbing b0ner for eliminating or raising the salary cap at breakneck speed. This is of course a great idea– I plan on installing an Olympic sized swimming pool in my apartment because no way Mark Spitz shows up otherwise and it will be really exciting to watch him win makeshift gold medals against whatever feeder mice I can afford with what’s left. Patience is silly, and if we don’t rip the guts out of the strategy every five minutes, we will go the way of the Arch Deluxe.

      At some point, somebody will just suggest mandatory servings of steroids and meth for all MLS players and fans. We can’t wait forever can we?

  10. NYCFC making classic DP mistakes.
    Overage has-beens from Europe demanding high salaries because they WERE good.

    Even if all the stars aligned and they start well, they’ll crumble by mid-season from old and tired legs.

    • I’m not a fan of the move, but let’s not exaggerate. Lampard is old, but if recent performance is any indicator he still has plenty left in the tank. Especially in a second-tier league like MLS, he can have a huge impact.

  11. 8 million dollars a year could have gotten Lewandowski or Sturridge. World class strikers who are only 25.

    but Lampard is a LEGEND. 1 of the greatets midfielders of his generation and 1 of the best English players ever. He and Gerrard are INSANELY talented but of course their fame is reduced due to the galore held for Beckham.

    but seriously 8 million a year for 36 year old Lampard is lunacy. is he still gonna play for ENGLAND

    • No, if you’re playing in Europe $8 millon could get those players, it’d have to be more like $15 millon to get them to MLS.

    • No, $8 million would NOT get Lewandowski or Sturridge. Neither would accept a move to MLS in the prime of their career. Maybe (and it’s a big maybe) if you paid them something ridiculous like $20-25 million/year they’d accept a move to MLS.

      You’re not getting players in their prime at any of the top clubs in Europe to come here unless you MASSIVELY overpay them, and they value cash over prestige and respect.

  12. CReynaNYCFC: “Simply said he’s one of the greatest players in world history.”
    Claudio Reyna, simply said, just made one of the most exagerrated statements in world history.

  13. Why not spend this same money on Andrea Pirlo, Maxi Rodriguez, Daniele de Rossi or Wesley Sneijder?. I’m sure at least one would have bitten.

    • Those are better players but Lampard’s signing is not about football, it’s about selling jerseys to Chelsea bandwagon fans in NY and to antagonize the families of the 3k people that died on9/11 hopping they’ll buy tickets to the games to insult Frank.

      • This must be the dumbest comment I have ever read on SBI.

        FL didn’t do anything to the families of 3k people that died on 9/11.

    • You’re thinking to small. Those guys had nice careers but they are collecting dust on the discount rack, and that just won’t fly for the demanding fans in this city unless Woody Allen expresses an awareness of them for some reason… I think NYCFC has to go for the biggest guy out there, bar none. And for starters that means getting Robinson Cano back in pinstripes, and then going after blue chip producers like Chinaglia, Pele, Mark Bavaro and Keith Hernandez. It won’t be easy, but I’m confident that Claudio Reyna and George Costanza will put together some of the finest football New Yankee Stadium has ever seen, before moving to the team’s spiritual home underneath the Aqueduct Racetrack in 2037.

      The revolution will be televised. OTB Network.

  14. I’ve come to accept the fact the MLS is as much about gimmicks as it is about soccer, however, there are some lines you just don’t cross. Lampard to NY is the biggest of them. There are tons of washed out former stars who don’t carry that “Fukc you New Your tag” I just don’t see the reason to insult a whole nation for the sake of selling soccer jerseys.

    • What is funny about your slam on MLS is you seem to think other leagues have some higher purpose.

      • You’ll know the league has arrived when you can criticize it without the fan-girls getting their panties all in a bunch.
        Your insecurities are showing, son.

      • I find it amusing you’re lecturing someone on insecurities and panties being in a bunch based on your original post.

      • My insecurities ? I tightroped around the fact that you are clueless. That was it.

        All leagues have gimmicks. Even the very successful English teams, who come to American and sell tickets to Americans every summer.

  15. A guy who doesn’t start for England
    Ok, plenty of guys in MLS that wouldn’t even make the England team, no matter that the team isn’t very good.

    now you throw in a guy who has played his career in cakewalk downhill fights while at Chelsea.
    He will be 37…..when he starts this.

    Very hard to see this going well…but you never know.

      • Bradley Wright Phillips is 29 and played for no name English teams who had to fight uphill battles to try to survive.

        Or exactly the opposite of what I know to be a huge risk and could likely be an overpaid disaster.

      • You know why he had to fight so many uphill battles to survive? Because he wasn’t as good at soccer as lampard.

    • I’m curious on your thoughts of Roma’s signing of Cole or Chelsea potential resigning of Drogba based on your personal criteria.

      • Apples and oranges, those two leagues also have some of the best young talent in the world, they’re not signing 30+ players with as much consistincey as MLS seems to.

      • Bull. Serie A is notorious for signing older players. I remember someone doing a study and found that MLS rosters are much younger than their European counterparts.

      • For every one of these examples, there are 3-4 yedlin types that these teams spend just as much $$$ on. Not true in MLS.

      • 2 older players to 2 different teams in 2 different leagues is nothing compared to the fact that every time some older Euro heads towards his twi-light, the first places that come up for him to go are MLS or the mid east. Don’t really care what the mid east does, but when the highest paid player in the league is a 36 year old euro, no matter how legendary his name, it reflects badly on the entire league.

      • And this. Yes.

        “Well Roma’s doing it, so it’s a good strategy” is the latest rubbish argument du jour. Who is this club? Why do we care? Are they a good business model? Do they win things? How much money should you pay two locals who have been holding the club hostage yet forever haven’t won anything meaningful for you since Batistuta was playing? More than Kobe? Woot woot.

        Roma are an inconsistent and forgettable side that play in a decrepit stadium. This stadium is a lifeless place and as empty as their trophy cabinet, which ain’t saying much. You won’t find anything good, bearing in mind “least fascist club in Rome” is not a real trophy… or at least it shouldn’t be. Until they explain who murdered Mancini (the Brazilian winger not the coach with the exceptional hair), and what that Frankensteinish, uncoordinated robot they sent to Inter was, I don’t think they can be trusted. Michael Bradley is looking more like Peter Weller by the day.

  16. to me, $8M just seems like a lot. but i guess a guy with his name, and a previous contract worth $13.5M a year, that’s the market value. i’m sure he could have got that just about anywhere. 2 year deal puts NYCFC replacing him by the time Atlanta and Miami play in the league. it’ll be interesting to see what kind of player they can grab at that point in time. but back to today, they still have another DP to get. very curious to see what route they go with it.

  17. Loved the Villa signing.
    Hate this one.
    Lampard has always been one of the most over rated players in the world. He wasn’t worth this much money in his prime, let alone now.

    • You obviously don’t watch much English soccer. In his prime Lampard was scoring as many goals as a midfielder as most strikers. The guy is an attacking midfielder beast and has been. His passing is strong too. Plus, on the field he’s a professional and really stays out of tabloids – the drunken 9/11 crap jokes aside.

      Now I’d happily hate NYC more if they signed the absolute scumbag Terry.

      • So….worth more than Dempsey? Bradley? Villa? Keane? Dononvan? Defoe? Should I go on? A 36 year old Lampard is worth $8 millon a year? 9/11 comments aside, there’s no 36 year short of Beckham I’d give $8 mil to and that’s only due to his marketing prescence.

      • No but worth what his employers thought it would take to get him. Stop placing your selection criteria over theirs – it’s their money and this is how they are spending it.

        I keep hearing people say how this is a waste of money. You can make that argument for anything really. But for me people, especially folks like these owners, pay for the value they perceive. They will certainly have a decent return on this investment.

      • You haven’t really said anything, other than they can waste money because they have it. Good for them. That puts them right up there with lottery winners who have terrible ideas about how to make good returns in the US economy, and they put their best cousin in charge so you know… matter of time. Bonus points should not be awarded because the party could “afford the loss”.

        These people are not experts in this. They might succeed– it’s actually in everybody’s interests that they do (well maybe not everybody). But they have scarcely made a dime selling soccer in the US yet. And no, it is not easy. Many other billionaires are working on that problem. A few have accepted losses knowingly to grow the game in leaner times. NYCFC gets to earn their respect like everybody else here. Exactly what decisions have they made to be above criticism in this market?

        Right now they look like their parents bought them a Bugatti and they can’t even find a place to garage it, let alone take on that guy with the souped up Ford Escort. When they show me they are geniuses, they will get some credit.

      • That’s relative. The NYC owners use $100 bills as toiletries. They have no concept of money like we do. If they wanted to spend $20M buying a unicorn for their mascot they wouldn’t even mark it down as a care.

      • Dude’s 36, will be playing on a baseball field, and joined up only to stave off the embarrassment of being dropped by CFC. Need I say more?

      • As a CFC fan I’m going to point out that we came up just short, 4 points behind the winners, and Mourinho likes to win and felt pressure to freshen the team. I think it’s the right decision for CFC but 8 goals in 40 appearances doesn’t make him an embarrassment in that context or for MLS. It just means we need better to contest the EPL.

        Anyone who plays for NYCFC will be half the time on a baseball field, it says nothing about him personally. It would be true if Neymar, James, or RvP showed up tomorrow.

        I’ll grant the age critique because I wouldn’t sign him here, but it’s not a league embarrassment in either historical or recent terms.

      • I never post emotionally out of respect for SBI. Nonetheless, something just doesn’t sit right with this signing. …. So, I can’t really explain “ridiculous” other than the fact that he’s balked (Yankee pun) on coming to MLS for 4 years, and waits until now, when, yes folks, he’s old and plays into the hand of “Euro-snob-MLS=retirement league” haters. After the drubbing of LAG last night, I just expect more out of our leagues new rich team.

      • Of course he balked, he didn’t want to jeopardize his world cup chances.

        Now that his international career is over, he has more flexibility in his club situation. Pretty simple really.

    • Yeah, I don’t see this playing real well.

      Not 100% sure why they signed him at age 36 anyway, especially when he’s not due to start playing until March of 2015.

      David Villa – sure, I can see it. Great finisher, still has some tread left on the tires. This one? Don’t think it was a good buy. At all.

      • Fat Frank is a wonderful player who never relied on athleticism. He’s able to read games, make passes and score goals. Sitting behind a striker, he’ll easily put up 10+ goals. Age won’t matter much to him if he’s paired with runners.

      • It was the perceived notion that he was built big and thus fat. Like Cartman, he’s just big boned.

      • PS F*ck these auto-playing, no pause ad videos Ives now floods this site with. I might have to stop coming. Yeesh. And yes, I have plenty of anti-popup software installed.

      • I see it as Juninho, useful on free kicks and not much else. I don’t think he has the wheels for open play in this league. I’d also be concerned NYCFC may surround him with similar old players and the team will have to play Old Man Soccer.

      • Del, what’s the story. I so want to like this, and “frankly” am just now hearing that Lamps was part of that John Terry 9-11 brouhaha. So was Frankie not there? Is the story false?


        “Some team members went on a five-hour drinking binge – culminating in their stripping naked and vomiting in public. The players, who were said to have been ejected from the third pub they had visited, shouted, laughed, threw peanuts and reportedly abused other guests.

        Many of the guests were Americans whose planes were grounded following the terrorist attacks two weeks ago.”

        There you go.


        News of the World story that during a drinking session he, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Eidur Gudjohnsen were abusive in the presence of American tourists watching the coverage of 9/11? Morris admits that the players were foolish to go drinking but denies categorically that they targeted the Americans. “The next day they [Chelsea] pulled us into a room and said, ‘You are going to get hammered [criticised]’. That side of it was silly. We shouldn’t have gone out boozing because the game [a Uefa Cup tie] got cancelled. We just went local and went for beers. There were loads of us. The way it was reported was that there were four lads; there were 15 to 16 players. Obviously a lot went home after an hour and we stayed longer and drank too much.

        “They [the paper] said to the club, ‘We have people urinating in gardens, throwing stuff in pubs’. It was not right. We were saying, ‘That’s pure lies’. They [the club] said, ‘What you need to do is meet the paper and say you are sorry’. They said we were laughing at people, grieving Americans. All this, that there were grieving Americans looking at TV screens and crying and we were laughing and joking was absolutely fabricated. That was just rubbish. Claudio Ranieri [the then manager] and Lamps weren’t happy [about the apology]. Lamps is super switched-on and was a little bit older than us. He was like, ‘I don’t like the look of this. There is so much being said’.

      • I’m also leery of taking a “group charge” and applying it to Lampard like he did it all. The press just says a group of people were there and some things were done and said. They don’t specify what Lampard did or said. Lampard was punished but for what specifically is not known, because it was an in house deal where they wanted to show contrition.

        It would be interesting to know what his personal role was, before tossing him under the bus.

      • Welcome to English tabloid sensationalism. Roughly translated, the story confirms a few 20-somethings got drunk and there were other people around and some were American and boy did you hear about that terrorism?

      • They were drunk on 9/12 and some American guests were in the hotel bar. By no accounts did they disparage 9/11 or Americans.

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