What words could better describe the first two seasons of New York City FC, and more importantly, Frank Lampard’s tenure with the club? After a tumultuous two years, which caused much frustration, resentment, and finally excitement about the Frank Lampard era, it is now coming to a close:
With Lampard’s contract ending in 2016, the club has decided to part ways at this time and will not be looking to sign him to a new contract. Lampard spoke to nycfc.com and had the following to say on his departure:
“As my time at NYCFC comes to an end, I would like to thank so many people for the kindness and support that they have shown me over the last two years.
“My teammates have been a pleasure to play alongside. The amazing fans have given me incredible support and backing.
“I have very much enjoyed my time, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play for such a great club and in such an incredible city.”
Patrick Vieira also spoke to nycfc.com and had this to say regarding Lampard:
“Everybody talks about Frank’s goal-scoring record from midfield but I can tell you after a year of working with him, he brings so much more to a team than just goals.
“What Frank has brought to the locker room is something just as important – his experience, his elite mentality and his mentorship for the younger members of our squad have helped us greatly this year.
“It is clear that Frank has embraced playing in this league and for this club. I am grateful for his service in my first year here and I wish him the very best in whatever he chooses to do next.”
Lastly, Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, who signed Lampard as the club’s first ever Designated Player, also spoke to nycfc.com about Frank as well:
“On and off the pitch he has been a fantastic ambassador," said Reyna.
"I would tell any young player to watch Frank, to see how he’s conducted himself over the last two years and to use that as inspiration as to how an elite, professional footballer should approach the game. From the second he walked through the door, he’s set the example.
“Frank will always be part of the history of this club and we thank him for playing an important role in so many special moments in our young history.”
For a player who at times (even early this year) was being considered the worst DP signing in MLS History, Frank Lampard will end his time with New York City FC as a fairly productive player, statistically speaking. He played a total of 29 games, having scored 15 goals and 4 assists over that span of time, scoring 12 of his goals this season and recording the club’s first ever hat-trick.
While the goals were amazing, it’s the 29 games played that I think gives fans the mixed bag of emotions when it comes to Lampard’s time with the club. Between needing to learn advanced contract litigation to figure when he would come over to MLS in 2015, and the not so bad calf injury that turned into a 3 month career on the line struggle, fans became more and more disenchanted with Lampard and his prolific goal scoring prowess, and were simply ready to move on. Now it seems like the club and the fans will get that chance. Having said that, I for one will acknowledge that while he was on the pitch and playing in games, Lampard was every bit the DP that he was expected to be, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see him play in Yankee Stadium for the full two seasons.
With Lampard moving on, the club is now in possession of an open DP slot that will be sure to use in the coming months to add a new marquee player. What type of player should it be? Should they club go offensive or defensive? A playmaking number 10 or an imposing number 6? These are the questions we look to have answered this offseason. But for now-