“Frank Lampard is the worst signing in MLS history.” This was the declaration made by USA Today and The Telegraph (and of course, many fans) back in May, with 2 months into the MLS regular season gone, and Lampard was yet to have even appeared for a single minute in 2016.
The history of the former Chelsea 3-time Player of the Year’s move to NYCFC makes for even worse reading; After arriving as the club’s second ever designated player, Lampard was quickly accused of dishonesty after signing for Manchester City, New York City’s parent club, after it was revealed his MLS contract would not in fact begin until his Man City stint had ended. This of course led to confusion and of course anger from fans, with Lampard not starting for NYCFC until 6 months into the season, eventually making 10 appearances but eventually his side failed to reach the playoffs.
Fast forward 12 months, and by the end of August Lampard’s record stands at an impressive 12 goals in just 17 appearances, which took him beyond 300 career goals. Where David Villa’s goals have dried up of late, Lampard’s scoring touch has definitely returned; among his goals being a first ever NYCFC hat-trick and a match-winning brace against DC United last weekend. That’s coming from 11 less appearances than leading scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips who only has 5 more goals to his name.
Talk of him as MVP should definitely be brought to the table; his record is propelling his team into genuine contenders for the MLS Cup in only their second season ever. Along with Giovinco/Bradley Wright-Phillips for Toronto/New York Red Bulls, Lampard is up there with them in terms of effectiveness. Proof that even at 38, Lampard was worth the wait after all.