Lampard joins New York City
Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has signed for new Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York City FC on a two-year contract, the team said on Thursday.
Lampard, who was unveiled at a news conference in Brooklyn, became New York’s second major signing following the arrival of ex-Barcelona and Spain forward David Villa to the club which will join MLS next year.
The 36-year-old Lampard left Chelsea in June after 13 years with the London club where he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League.
“It is a very exciting challenge for me in life terms. I had a fantastic 13 years with Chelsea that I can look back with pride upon. Having seen the vision here, seeing a real long-term plan, I wanted to be part of that. I want to carry on challenging myself and be a leader not only on the pitch,” said Lampard.
“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,” added Lampard, who scored a record 211 goals in all competitions for Chelsea.
Lampard has played 106 matches for England and was part of the World Cup squad in Brazil, captaining the team in their final group game against Costa Rica.
“He is a professional, a leader and he ticked all the boxes in terms of the qualities to help grow our team,” said New York sporting director Claudio Reyna.
The midfielder said he had yet to decide on his England future having focused on resolving his club situation first but said he would address the issue “soon”.
New York City are owned by England’s Manchester City and Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and will play at Yankee Stadium when the 2015 MLS season gets under way in February.
Lampard said no decision had yet been made on what he would do between now and the start of the 2015 season.
Villa will play for another City-owned club, Australia’s Melbourne City FC, before teaming up with New York but Reyna said there were a “number of options”.
Lampard is the fourth player to be signed by New York, who have appointed American Jason Kreis, an MLS title winner with Real Salt Lake, as their head coach.
As well as Villa and Lampard, the club has recruited former LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders and former Montreal Impact defender Jeb Brovsky.