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About time

It's taken an eternity but 38-year-old Frank Lampard is finding form in Major League Soccer

Veteran midfielder has significantly underachieved since arriving in MLS but has found some form at last.

FRANK LAMPARD HAS had to put up with quite a bit of pressure since joining MLS outfit New York City FC.

Firstly, there was the controversy surrounding the transfer.

In July 2014, he posed for some official photographs in the city, dressed in club merchandise. He gave press interviews outlining his reasons for making the move to Major League Soccer. He was, by all accounts, a registered NYC FC player and would begin pre-season training in January 2015.

He joined Manchester City on loan (the clubs have the same ownership) in what was described initially as a short-term deal. However, Lampard ended up staying for the entire season.

Thousands of fans had sought out season tickets after the deal was announced but were left furious when it transpired Lampard would only properly arrive in New York in the summer of 2015.

It was confusing and unnecessary. It left MLS looking amateurish while Lampard was perceived as a guy with little care for the league paying him $6 million per year.

He made his first appearance for the club as a second-half substitute in a 3-2 loss at home to Montreal last August and managed three goals from 10 games as the franchise endured a torrid debut campaign and Lampard suffered fitness issues.

This season, those issues have continued and the 38-year-old has missed the majority of the campaign through injury.

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There was one particularly memorable episode at the end of May when NYC FC – now coached by Patrick Vieira – were thumped 7-0 by the New York Red Bulls.

Lampard came on as a sub with his side trailing by five and was promptly booed by his own fans.

It was quite the low ebb.

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But, he’s started the team’s last four games – which they’ve won – with Lampard scoring three times and conjuring one assist.

The club are currently top of the Eastern Conference and sit third overall after an horrific start to the season.

With Villa the league’s current top scorer with 12, Andrea Pirlo finally delivering some magic and Tommy McNamara enjoying a breakout campaign, maybe it’s all finally coming together for NYC FC.

And for Lampard, it will go some way to repairing the fractured relationship he has with the club’s supporters.

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