Source: Frank Lampard Won't Miss MLS Season Start

Source tells columnist Nick Chavez that Frank Lampard will not miss MLS Season games regardless of wishes of Pellegrini, Lampard himself
by Nick Chavez   |   Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

A source close to City Football Group decision makers has exclusively

confirmed that Frank Lampard will be directed to play for New York City FC as planned by, at the latest, the very first match of the expansion club’s inaugural season.

My source said that this remains City Football Group’s stance, which is at odds with Manchester City FC Manager Manuel Pellegrini’s wishes, as he has made it known that he would prefer to extend Frank Lampard’s loan spell in Manchester to help the Premier League Champions compete in the final stages of this season’s campaign.

This decision is also potentially against the leanings of the player in question himself, as my source claims Lampard has allegedly let on that he’s tempted at the prospect of staying with Manchester City if City Football Group would indeed prefer that course of action.

When asked if he thinks CFG decision makers will change their minds about Lampard potentially staying in Manchester beyond the start of the MLS season due to the wishes of Pellegrini and, potentially, Lampard, he said, “I’ll be amazed if they (CFG) succumb to (their wishes).”

The common public perception is that the decision is completely up to Manuel Pellegrini and Lampard, but my source emphatically insists that Pellegrini will not be the final decision maker, and that CFG higher-ups will be the ones having the final say.

The reason for this, as previously reported, is because CFG considers the New York City FC project to be very important, and knows how detrimental it would be for one of the MLS expansion club’s designated players to miss official, competitive matches in NYCFC’s inaugural season, with season ticket holders expecting to see the players they were promised would be starring for NYCFC to be competing in every match that they are physically fit to play. They certainly won’t be happy if one of their stars are playing for another club across the ocean while New York City FC are fighting for titles without him in competitive matches.

If my source is correct, then it’s possible that NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna and Head Coach Jason Kreis are not privy to this information, since both Kreis and Reyna claimed that they are awaiting the decision of when Lampard will be joining his NYCFC teammates, and that a decision will be made and known to them by mid December, during Reyna’s upcoming week-long trip (arrival scheduled for December 10th) to Manchester City’s headquarters, with Reyna saying “We’ll have something next week” as far as a decision regarding Lampard’s loan status.

These comments to the media last Friday caused an uproar amongst members of the American soccer media, NYCFC fans, and MLS fans in general, with both Kreis and Reyna saying they’ll respect any decision made by City Football Group, even Lampard potentially staying with Manchester City until the end of the Premier League season.

New York City FC fans were understandably incensed by this possibility, as many have already paid for season tickets and merchandise with the reasonable expectation that both of their star players would be playing the entire season with their newly-adopted New York City team when spending their hard-earned money to support NYCFC.

If City Football Group decides to direct Frank Lampard to remain an active Manchester City player while NYCFC regular season matches are being played, it will justly be perceived as a highly-disrespectful slight to NYCFC fans, MLS fans, and the City of New York, in general.

 

If City Football Group hopes to govern its clubs wisely and prove that it legitimately respects and values its team in the “Media Capital of the World”, it will direct Lampard to play the entire season with the MLS side, as was originally agreed upon.

 

And if Manchester City wants to truly be perceived as a “big club”, it should use its resources (or its highly-touted academy and reserve players) to find a replacement for Frank Lampard, rather than stealing a Designated Player from its nascent “sister club” in Major League Soccer.

 

After all, a “big club” like Manchester City can’t really need an MLS player to compete for the Premier League and Champion’s League titles, can it?

Nick CHAVEZ

Nationality:
USA
College:
SCSU
Club Domestic:
NYCFC
Club Foreign:
Real Madrid CF
This is the longest-running column focused on the only team representing the 5 Boroughs in world football: New York City FC. Long may its supporters continue to make history.
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