Still half a year from taking the field, the new Major League Soccer team NYCFC has added a second big name to their roster to join David Villa. Frank Lampard was unveiled as the club's newest signing this morning, bringing the Chelsea FC legend to New York. If only he didn't have that unfortunate 9/11 baggage!
After coming through the youth system and going pro at West Ham United, Lampard joined Chelsea FC in 2001 and became eternally linked with its rise to becoming a "super club". He's won it all: three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, and one Europa League Championship. He holds the club's all-time scoring record with 211 goals, and also has 106 caps for the English national team.
In a statement released by the club, Lampard hit the usual pleasantries for any sports signing: "I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world. The passion of the nation’s fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City—I just can’t wait to get started and be part of it."
Head coach Jason Kreis was also pleased: "I am really looking forward to working with Frank. His leadership, maturity and experience are perfect characteristics for a new Club like ours. He is a rare talent, one that scores a lot of goals from midfield, yet is also a disciplined defender and someone who reads the game brilliantly. A gift for a coach."
Lampard's move to NYCFC is getting extra scrutiny not because of his age (he's 36) or his salary (rumored to be around $8 million a year, extremely high for MLS), but because of 9/11! Famously, Frank's only bit of truly bad behavior came on September 12th, 2001, where he and other Chelsea players were seen drunkenly harassing grieving American tourists at a Heathrow airport hotel. Lampard reportedly stripped naked, swore at the tourists, and vomited during the incident—so he's basically a shoo-in to lead SantaCon this year. At the time, he was fined two weeks wages by Chelsea.
Lampard is the fourth player on the NYCFC roster, joining David Villa, MLS journeyman Jeb Brovsky, and former LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders.