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Villa & Lampard thank fans after Sunday's finale, pledge to be bigger and better in 2016 (VIDEO)

New York City's first two designated players had one message for the Yankee Stadium crowd: you're awesome and deserve a stronger club than the one you saw this year.

Immediately following Sunday's 3-1 defeat to New England -- a pedestrian effort emblematic of much of this maiden campaign in the Five Boroughs -- David Villa and Frank Lampard took to the microphone with an earnest kind of solemnity that, in a perfect world, would have been entirely unnecessary.

But someone had to say something, right?

With nothing but pride to play for, the Boys in Blue fell flat. As was the case for most of the year, there were chances on goal, but not many. There were big saves, but not enough. But Villa and Lampard were quick to echo a widely-held opinion in NYCFC circles: the best is yet to come.