Frank Lampard saw action for the first time for NYCFC on Saturday, coming off the bench in the 69th minute.
NYCFC fans had waited a year to see the English star play and Lampard came out to thunderous applause.
Frank had been nursing a calf injury over the last three weeks having to miss two games in which he was eligible to play. Prior to that Lampard was on loan to Manchester City and wasn’t able to come over to NYCFC until the EPL season had ended.
Finally, we all got a chance to see what we have been waiting for when all of NYCFC’s designated players were on display at Yankee Stadium against the Montreal Impact.
Unfortunately, Lampard wasn’t able to have much of an impact himself and Montreal ended up winning the game 4-2 after jumping on NYC early.
“It was a big moment for me to play. I just want to play more now. It’s frustrating to play a game we end up losing and not quite feeling right,” Lampard said. “It’s up to me to put it right and as a team it’s up to us to put right and win games.”
NYCFC playoff hopes
NYCFC could ill-afford another loss, especially at home, to a conference rival also battling for the last play-off spot.
With a 6-10-6 record NYCFC currently sits in 8th place in the Eastern Conference. They are on the outside looking in at a play-off spot (top 6 teams in each division make the play-offs).
NYCFC has been playing much better after a terribly slow start. Since June the club has had a respectable 5-3-1 record but the expansion-team has a tough schedule coming up.
Three of their next five matches will be on the road against teams with winning records. New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, Columbus Crew (twice) and a much anticipated match up with the LA Galaxy will round off their road-show.
NYCFC is relying on their new trio to have a major impact. David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard account for nearly 80% of the team’s salary. Coming into Saturday’s match, Pirlo and Lampard had yet to play 45 minutes of soccer combined for New York.
Fortunately, David Villa has held up his end of the bargain scoring 13 goals on the season. This ties him with Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC) for the second most season goals in the MLS this year (Kia Kamara has 15). The Bleacher Report ranks David Villa the number-one active overall player in Major League Soccer.
I think it would be great for the league if NYCFC makes the play-offs considering the star-power they bring, but the gelling process could take time.
With just twelve games left in the regular season I know everyone in New York would agree that its best they get into game shape ASAP! Hopefully it’s not too late.
Will NYFC get it together in time to make the MLS playoffs?