Frank Lampard officially confirmed his move to Major League Soccer with a press conference with his new side in North America, New York City FC.
The 36-year old has signed a two-year deal with the MLS new boys and joins David Villa on an NYCFC roster that contains only two more players ahead of their professional debut in early 2015. The former Atletico Madrid striker Villa is heading to the A-League in Australia on loan for a few months in order to keep up his match fitness, and Lampard could well be joining him in Melbourne, although the issue has yet to be discusses with head coach Jason Kreis and director of football Claudio Reyna.
Building Something Special
“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 on arrival at 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.”
New York City FC are jointly owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees. The team will be playing at Yankee Stadium for a few years before completion of their own soccer specific stadium. Man City also own Melbourne City FC which is where that potential loan for Lampard links from.
Lampard left Chelsea at the end of the past Premier League season after 13 years and a club record 211 goals for The Blues. He signed a one-year contract extension with the West London side in May 2013 ahead of moving to Los Angeles Galaxy, who he will now face off against next season.
Xavi was another big target for NYC but the Barcelona playmaker has opted to stay at the Camp Nou for the time-being. The midfielder also was in talks with cross-town rivals the New York Red Bulls but turned them down too, sparking rumours that former Barca teammate and current NYRB star Thierry Henry will retire at the seasons end.