Frank Lampard, we hardly knew ya.
“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,” he told NYCFC.com. “My teammates have been a pleasure to play alongside. The amazing fans have given me incredible support and backing.”
But Lampard’s time in New York was a roller coaster ride. When first signed, New York City FC ramped up its marketing efforts and splashed the Chelsea legend across Gotham, which fired up fans eager to see him hit the Yankee Stadium pitch with David Villa.
But a loan spell with Manchester City delayed Lampard’s Big Apple debut, and a nagging calf injury would subsequently further push back his premiere.
Fans were frustrated with the delays and the midfielder was booed during his first appearance in 2016 against New York Red Bulls. While the boos were likely directed more at club management for their mishandling of Lampard, he nonetheless took the brunt of the fans’ displeasure.
But when he was a regular part of the NYCFC lineup, Lampard proved he still had magic remaining in his aging legs. In 31 appearances for the club, he found the back of the net 15 times and scored the first hat-trick in team history on July 30 against Tim Howard and the Colorado Rapids.
The boos turned to cheers.
For what seemed like a brief moment, New York City fans got to see greats Lampard, Villa and Andrea Pirlo ply their craft together. There was some magical moments for sure, but the season’s successful run to the postseason ended in less than spectacular fashion at the hands of Toronto FC.
There is work to be done by the club’s management to replace Lampard and possibly Pirlo before the 2017 season. But that’s for later. Now, we thank Frank for his time in New York and for allowing us to see one of the truly great footballers of all time.