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Image: NYCFC via Twitter

It's official: Frank Lampard joins soon-to-be MLS side New York City FC

The team make their league debut in March 2015 so 36 year-old veteran must decide short-term plans.
Jul 24th 2014, 4:49 PM 4,425 8

FRANK LAMPARD HAS BECOME the latest high-profile name to sign for a team in North America’s Major League Soccer after the midfielder was announced as NYC FC’s newest acquisition.

After 13 years with Chelsea, Lampard left the Premier League club earlier this summer and was widely expected to make the move to the United States. At a press conference in Manhattan, the 36 year-old was official presented with confirmation that he had signed with the league’s new-boys on a two-year deal.

Why not choose New York City? You talk about it ticking all the boxes, personally for me it does that. It is a very exciting challenge for me, in life terms too. I had a fantastic 13 years at Chelsea. I can look back on that with immense pride. However it was certainly a good time for myself, and for Chelsea that I moved on. I want to test myself, carry on challenging myself, I want to be that leader and that person on and off the pitch that can make things happen for this club.”

Lampard becomes the franchise’s second Designated Player (DP) following David Villa’s move in June. Under MLS rules, clubs are allowed three DPs that fall outside a league-wide salary-cap.

There is one slight issue though. NYC FC don’t make their debut in MLS until March of next year so, like Villa, Lampard will have to find alternative playing and training arrangements from now until then. The Spanish striker will play for Melbourne City FC in Australia’s A-League from October – December of this year before moving to New York, with both clubs owned by the same company – City Football Group, the same organisation that owns Manchester City.

But, Lampard revealed today that talk of him heading to Melbourne as part of a similar deal is still just rumour.

Currently, NYC FC have just four players in their squad though there are strong reports linking the club with a move for another Spanish veteran, Xavi.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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