Frank Lampard plans to play on until 2017 - wants to leave legacy on US soccer

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Frank Lampard's switch to MLS shares a number of similarities with that of his former England teammate David Beckham.

Similar paths

Lampard is heading stateside north of his 30th birthday after a stellar career in European football where he has won all of the major honors possible after well over a decade at the top.

The same exact sentence would read just as well with David Beckham's name in place of the former Chelsea midfielder's.

Lampard is blazing a trail as he makes the switch, with his name amongst the first ever signings for new franchise New York City FC alongside the likes of former Barca forward David Villa.

Beckham, whilst he may not have been joining a fledgling club when he moved to the LA Galaxy in 2007, was the first legitimate English (and perhaps world) superstar to opt for the North American league.

And then there are the pair's reasons for moving.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid man spoke on his arrival back in 2007 of his desire to help the game of soccer in the United States develop and thrive.

Fast-forward to 2014 and Frank Lampard has echoed those sentiments this week.

Making a difference

Speaking to NBCSN's 'Men in Blazers', the man most recently seen in action for Manchester City in their 2-2 tie with Arsenal at the weekend spoke of his big ambitions for his New York future:

"I want to walk away from this with a lot of pleasure and come away personally having played well... win something with New York City," explained Lampard.

"I'd love to see young American talent develop because that's hugely important as well. We want to see that... it's a story always in England that in America soccer is really big at a young age and then you lose people and they go into different sports.

"I'd love to see that start to change by people picking up the bug and wanting to play. And if the league can move on, the quality level go up, people coming and watching games and being entertained I mean that's what we all want," continued the ex-England international.

Playing days

English Premier League fans still have a few months left to appreciate Frank Lampard on home soil as he completes his loan spell with NYCFC feeder club Manchester City before heading to New York in January to start a new chapter in his playing career.

But aged 36, the veteran midfielder is well aware that his playing days wont last for ever and hinted in the same interview that 2017 could be the year he plays his final game:

"I never like to jump too far ahead at this stage of my career," said Lampard.

"I'd like to think I've got another three years in me and possibly more. When you get a bit older, if I felt like I wasn't able to give my best I'd probably know that and I wouldn't carry on for too long."

Lampard's arrival has been met with much excitement by NYCFC's fledgling fan base and MLS as a whole. And if Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer can achieve even half of his ambitions by 2017 then their high hopes will have been far exceeded. 

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