NYCFC: Don’t Look Too Much Into Frank Lampard Decision


On Wednesday, it was announced first by Manchester City, then by New York City FC, that Frank Lampard would be finishing out the Premier League season with the reigning champions in England before coming back to the states for the MLS season. Immediate outrage swept over NYCFC and MLS fans, upset that the new expansion club had turned into a feeder club before their first match had even kicked off.

However, in the words of Aaron Rodgers, relax!

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From their initial forming, NYCFC had heavy involvement and influence from their parent club, Man City. After landing David Villa on a free transfer, the expansion club made their biggest splash by signing Chelsea legend Lampard. Certainly Lampard was set to be a focal point of the expansion franchise in its inaugural season.

With the MLS season out of sync with most European seasons, both Villa and Lampard were loaned out, the former to Melbourne FC and the latter to Man City itself. Lampard’s move was originally considered a way to train with a high level team to maintain fitness, but after joining City, he was included in the squad and eventually became a focal point of the team.

As his involvement with the club and subsequent success in the Premier League grew, the questions were raised about how long he’d stay in Manchester, eventually culminating into today’s decision. However, this is not all bad news for MLS or NYCFC.

First off, NYCFC have just landed more promotion than they could ever handle on their own. This drawn out affair has created interest in the club, especially in England, when it otherwise may not have been there. Lampard playing a key role in the side of the reigning champions as they mount a chase for their 3rd title in four years, then to jump over to MLS to play for the new expansion team. Tell me that won’t draw immediate attention.

The final fixture for Manchester City is set for May 24, 2015, with the outside chance of them being in the Champions League final on June 6, 2015. Last season, by June 6, the Seattle Sounders had played in 14 fixtures with 12 of them MLS fixtures. While certainly a fair amount of the season, there will be no adjustment period needed for Lampard to reach full fitness.

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  • At the same time, Lampard won’t be a worn down player. Some have raised concerns over expecting him to play a season and a half straight, which is not a fair statement to make. Lampard has featured in 14 of Man City’s 27 fixtures across three competitions. It’s fair to say that he’ll play in roughly half of the team’s fixtures, if not a few more. He’s had no injury concerns this season, is not expected to play game in and game out, and can maintain adequate rest. Furthermore, with an international break from June 8 through June 16, Lampard will immediately have an opportunity to bond with his teammates as soon as he comes to New York.

    To think that this is simply a case of Manchester City throwing it’s weight around without any benefit or input from NYCFC is naive and misguided. Have we forgotten City’s promise of youth players to be cycled through NYCFC? Have we forgotten the six months Jason Kreis spent in Manchester to learn from City? This is not a move that signals NYCFC as a feeder club, nor MCFC as a bully, nor should it be treated as such.

    Next: Frank Lampard's Manchester City Contract Extension is Bad News for NYCFC